Customer Support

Distribution

Getting power to you.

How We Distribute Power

Power generation is complex, and delivering electricity to your home or business is a multi-step process.

Power Generating Stations

Xcel Energy produces power at our power stations, using a diverse mix of fuels (biomass, coal, nuclear, and natural gas) to produce electricity by creating steam to turn a turbine – or by harvesting it directly from water (hydro), the sun (solar) or wind.

Transmission Lines

From these power stations, high-voltage transmission lines carry the electricity to local substations. By transporting electricity across vast distances, our transmission lines connect with other regional transmission systems to ensure electric reliability.

Substations

The outgoing electric distribution lines from substations carry electricity that has been converted from incoming transmission line voltage to lower, more usable levels. The equipment within substations also protects the lines from damage and controls the flow of electricity.

Distribution Power Lines

Electricity travels over distribution power lines from substations directly to homes and businesses in your neighborhood.

We own and operate thousands of miles of above ground and underground distribution lines. Today only 20% of new line construction is overhead. Get more information before undergrounding electric distribution lines in Minnesota, North Dakota, or South Dakota (PDF).

Transformers

A transformer converts the distribution level voltage to levels suitable for your home or business, and carries power to the end user. Transformers look like a large can and are often mounted on poles, but sometimes can be placed under ground.

Meet the Grid

Xcel Energy's vast energy network is key to ensuring our customers receive economical, reliable, and clean energy. We continually invest in our infrastructure to ensure that we deliver the most reliable and efficient energy to our customers in our eight-state region. We monitor our grid 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure consistent reliability and the ability to immediately react should anything go wrong.

The Grid of the Future

Our Grid Modernization project is preparing us for how quickly technology in the utility industry is changing. Through the 15-year program, we are working to create a state-of-the-art grid that successfully integrates solar, microgrids, distributed energy resources, smart grid technologies, electric battery storage and other new energy technologies.

To learn more about how the grid enhances our customers' experience and promotes choice, view our Advanced Grid (PDF).

Want to learn more about how to interconnect? View our How to Interconnect page.

A Complex System

From high voltage transmission towers to individual service lines, Xcel Energy's grid is a complex system that delivers clean, safe, reliable electricity to thousands of homes and businesses every day.

When Mother Nature Strikes

Each piece of our energy grid serves a different number of people. When a serious storm damages multiple parts at once, it can cause power outages for thousands of customers. But our crews are ready to respond.

Learn more (PDF)

Getting the Lights Back On

Restoring the power after a major storm can be challenging and complex, but our crews work day and night to get the lights turned back on. During large storms, we’re forced to prioritize our efforts to help the most people possible, as quickly as possible, while always putting the safety of our customers and our crews first.

More on Outages & Emergencies

Energy Saving Tip

Rather than crank up your heat in the winter, keep your thermostat at a moderate level and bundle up. (Who doesn't love fuzzy slippers?)

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Electrical Appliance Safety

Always keep appliances clean, operating properly, and clear of obstructions. Unplug them when cleaning or repairing to avoid serious injury.

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