What the Lines Look Like

Georgia’s most common power lines

Power lines are defined by their voltage. If a power line were a garden hose, the volume flowing through it would be current and the pressure in the line would be voltage. A kilovolt, 1000 volts, is abbreviated kV.

The power trip from plant to customer is actually a continuous relay between power lines of decreasing voltages. It begins with the heavy weights (500 kV in Georgia) and ends with 120- and 240-volt lines that run to homes.

Transmission lines carry power from plants to local utilities. In Georgia, power travels down a series of different size transmission lines: 500 kV, 230 kV, 115 kV and some 69 kV and 46 kV. Transmission lines are often thought of as the large cross-country variety, but lines of 230 kV and lower voltages are common along roadsides too.


Distribution lines, typically 25,000 and 12,000 volts, are networks of local power lines that EMCs and other utilities use to deliver electricity to homes, businesses, schools and so on. In some cases, industrial customers take service directly from a transmission line. While distribution lines are often thought of as the ones on wooden poles along neighborhood streets, they are also built on metal and concrete poles. Unlike their transmission counterparts, these lines are commonly built underground. The most common distribution lines in Georgia are 25 kV and 12 kV.