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How The Electric Grid Works

03/15/11 12:00PM By Jane Lindholm
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AP Photo/Toby Talbot
Detail of the control room at Green Mountain Power Corp, as seen in 2008.


The alarm clock goes off, you flip on the light switch and the automatic coffee maker starts brewing. And while these actions are simple and mundane, the electric grid that powers our everyday electric devices is a vast and complicated system. On Tuesday's Vermont Edition: everything you wanted to know about how the electric grid works. As people in our region debate the best ways to generate energy, we'll take a look at the infrastructure that transmits electricity from massive generating sources to our homes and offices. We talk with Paul Hines, professor of electrical engineering at the University of Vermont, who's research focuses on the stability and vulnerability of the electric grid.

Post your questions below or write to vermontedition@vpr.net

Also in the program, cartoonist Ed Koren is well-known for his squiggly, hairy characters that appear regularly in The New Yorker. Since the 1960s, Koren has had more than 1,000 of his cartoons published by the magazine. He works out of an old farmhouse in Brookfield, and Jane Lindholm paid a visit to Koren's studio to learn how he approaches cartooning.

And as sap is running strong, we continue our week-long series to celebrate the tradition of maple sugaring. VPR's Steve Zind heads into the woods to tap trees with a family that does its own backyard sugaring.


VPR/Jane Lindholm
Ed Koren at his Brookfield studio


VPR/Jane Lindholm


VPR/Jane Lindholm


VPR/Jane Lindholm


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