North American Power Grid

The North American power grid is a network of networks that delivers electricity from where it is generated to the homes, businesses, and communities who use it.

The power grid network includes the:

  • Generating station network of extra-high voltage lines that connect to the transmission network
  • Bulk power transmission network of high-voltage transmission lines that connect to distribution substations
  • Distribution network low-voltage lines that connect to customers

This immense North American network of power lines, generation facilities, and related communications systems is often referred to as “the world’s largest machine.”

Canada-US interconnections

There are over 35 electric transmission interconnections between the Canadian and US power systems, forming a highly integrated grid. This integration is set to continue expanding, with multiple cross-border transmission projects currently in various stages of development.

Every Canadian province along the US border is electrically interconnected with a neighbouring US state or states, with many provinces boasting multiple international connections.

The result of the integrated Canada-US electric grid is a flexible, reliable, and secure grid on both sides of the border.

Canada and the US work closely together to develop exemplary best practices and institutions in support of a safe, secure, reliable electricity system. This cross-border partnership and collaboration has served Canadian and American communities and businesses for over 100 years.

Thanks to integration, Canada and the US enjoy a mutually beneficial and robust trade in electricity. Of the Canadian electricity delivered to US customers, the majority of it is derived from clean, non-emitting sources.

Electricity powers our modern lives

Electricity powers many of the world’s most important innovations, including our telecommunications and healthcare systems. In fact, our critical infrastructures, those systems essential to the health, safety, security , and economic well-being of Canadians, are all powered by electricity.

And it’s the power grid that ensures a reliable source of electricity.

The future’s smarter power grid

Smart technology has two-way communication from the device to the data collection system it is connected to. The smart power grid has this two-way communication and two-way power flow to efficiently manage supply, delivery, and use of electricity from source to customer.

A smarter power grid integrates the electricity system with telecommunications and financial services, with greater details of informational, financial, and physical transactions to ensure reliability and competitiveness.