Comprised of 11 strategically organized entities that specialize in energy-focused services throughout North America, PLH Group created a comprehensive, industry-leading power line services team. These services range from electric power infrastructure and distribution services to storm restoration and airborne power line services. But why is the expert power line work that PLH Group companies perform so significant to the energy climate of our country?
Most residents of the United States wake up each morning in a warm house and welcome the day with television, technology, and, of course, hot coffee. Breakfast is made with food from a cold refrigerator, and lights guide the way through dark mornings. All of these tasks require the use of electricity. But did you know that 840 million people around the world (1 out of 7 people) do not have access to electricity?
Reliable access to electricity is often taken for granted unless it is not available or unaccessible. Many crucial steps need to successfully occur before power reaches consumers.
First, energy sources are generated into electricity at a power plant. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), about 64% of U.S. electricity generation in 2018 came from fossil fuels, which includes coal, natural gas, and petroleum. 19% of generation is from nuclear energy, and the remaining 17% comes from renewable energy sources.
Once electricity is generated, it begins its journey through the grid, which is comprised of substations, transformers, and power lines. The grid is essentially the path the electricity takes from the generation plant to the consumer. After leaving the generation plant, high voltage power is moved long distances through transmission lines. Once arriving at its predetermined destination, transformers reduce the power’s voltage to ensure safety. The electricity then moves through distribution lines before becoming available for consumer use.
Providing reliability in electricity is another complex aspect of power transmission. The current energy grid concept used in the United States today was formed after World War II. Prior to WWII, more than 4,000 electric utilities operated independently from each other. However, due to the increased demand for electricity after the war, companies connected their transmission systems, making the power’s journey more efficient and cost effective.
Today, there are only three primary interconnections throughout the country– Eastern Interconnection, Western Interconnection, and Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). Within each of these are local electricity grids that are responsible for safely getting electricity to consumers. By providing not only multiple generation points, but also various routes for the flow of power, the U.S. energy grid system provides reliability to consumers.
“What makes going to work every day so rewarding for me is the evident impact of our organization’s work on the performance and progress of our country,” said Johnny Priest, Electric Segment Executive Vice President. “As an integral part of the country’s electricity transmission process, we power the great minds who change the course of history with new technological advancements that have enabled deaf children to hear, family members to see each other in real-time on opposite ends of the world, and may someday even send the first person to Mars. That is work I believe in!”