The entire U.S. electricity system is experiencing nearly unprecedented change, including slower load growth, retiring traditional baseload capacity, declining costs and increasing deployment of renewable and distributed energy resources, policy changes at the state and federal levels, and rapidly evolving technology. These changes are transforming how end-use customers and electric companies interact, placing pressure on real-time operations and introducing new uncertainties to long-term planning cycles. Investments in the nation’s network of transmission and distribution systems — the backbone of the entire electricity system — are critical to enabling the utility and energy industries and the U.S. economy to adapt to these changes, while maintaining reliability and resiliency in the face of emerging challenges, such as severe weather and cyber threats. System statistics include:
- The U.S. electric grid delivers more than 3,800 terawatt-hours of electricity to roughly 159 million residential, commercial and industrial end-users each year.
- Approximately 707,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines and 6.5 million miles of distribution lines deliver electricity from 7,700 operational power plants.