Plain Talk About the Electric Power System




PES PLAIN TALK courses aim to increase your understanding of the electric power system, how it operates and how it is evolving. PES PLAIN TALK courses for the power industry professional provide you with practical knowledge that you can use as you work in or with this important industry. These courses will help you to understand the technical aspects of the electric power industry, even if you do not have an engineering background.

PES PLAIN TALK courses are On-demand, offering 4 one-hour sessions each. There are single and multiple-course registration options.


PES PLAIN TALK courses offered cover a range of topics. Choose from:

·       Power System Basics

·       Distribution System

·      Transmission System


Click Here for Detailed Information


Power System Basics –  Understanding How the Bulk Electric Power System Works

Instructor: Steve W. Blume


The focus of this course is to provide a fundamental of how electric power systems work from basic concepts to grid system operations. Topics include a general overview of generation, transmission, distribution, consumption, control center operations, and safety. Starting with basic electrical terminology, power system design, construction, operation and associated equipment is explained in simple to understand language. Anyone who is involved in the electric utility industry will benefit from attending this course. The four sessions are broken down as follows:



Session 1 – Click HERE to Register & View

  • Overview and Terminology
  • Generation

Session 2 - Click HERE To Register & View

  • Substations and System Protection
  • Transmission & Distribution

Session 3 - Click HERE To Register & View

  • Utilization & Consumption
  • Modern Smart Grid Management

Session 4 - Click HERE To Register & View

  • Reliable Operations
  • Personal Protection (Safety)


Distribution System - Delivering Power to the Customer

Instructor: Brent Olsen


The focus of this course is to provide attendees with an overview of the issues associated with the planning, engineering, design, operation, and automation of electrical distribution systems. Types of distribution systems and network circuits, as well as engineering issues related to distribution systems will be explored. New concepts in the design, challenges, and operation of smart grid will be addressed. This course is intended for those who are not familiar with the delivery of electricity to the end user.


Session 1 – Click HERE To Register & View

       Overview & Terminology

       Overhead & Underground

Session 2 - Click HERE to Register & View

       Distribution Equipment

       Power Quality

Session 3 - Click HERE to Register & View

       Grid Transition


Session 4 - Click HERE to register & View

       Operation & Maintenance

       Functional Changes

       Communication Systems


Transmission System - The Interconnected Bulk Electric System

Evolution of the Electric Transmission System


Instructor: Douglas Bowman, PE

(Prerequisite for this course is Power System Basics or a familiarity with basic formulas and power system equipment.)

The focus of this course is to provide participants with knowledge of how electric power is transferred from generation sources to distribution systems via the interconnected electric bulk power system known as “the grid.” Basic physical laws governing the grid will be introduced, as well as the regulatory agencies involved in its governance. The great blackouts will be explored. This course is intended to increase participant’s understanding of the electric grid and how it functions in the electric power system.


Session 1 – Click HERE To Register & View

  • The overall structure of the electric power system is discussed with emphasis on how the transmission system fits into this structure. 
  • Regulation of the U.S. electric transmission system and its development over the years.
  • The evolution of the U.S. electric transmission system infrastructure from its inception to today will be recounted.


Session 2 - Click HERE To Register & View

  • Constituent parts, describing each structure or apparatus and its function in the overall system.  
  • Emphasis will be placed on the role that transmission infrastructure plays in the overall power system picture.  
  • Design and construction of transmission lines and substations.
  •  Grounding for safety 


Session 3 – Click HERE To Register & View

  • The transmission system’s response during normal and abnormal conditions will first be explored.
  • Understanding of the limits by which the system must be operated.  
  • The method by which utilities protect the transmission system during severe disturbances.
  • Threats to the grid and steps to ensure grid security.


Session 4 - Click HERE To Register & View

  • The art of transmission planning (including risk-based planning) is explained.
  • How technologies such as wind, solar, and HVDC can change planning assumptions.  
  • The future of the grid- examining technologies on the horizon as well as their function as part of the grid.