About this course

This course will be submitted to IEEE for qualifying for CEUs.

This course is part of a two-course bundle, along with Interconnection of Utility-Scale Solar PV to Transmission.  If you are interested in both courses, you can purchase the Electric Transmission and Solar PV Interconnection Bundle for a discounted-price.  Either course may also be taken separately.

Electric power transmission in the US is a complex topic.  There are many stakeholders and associated roles, including transmission owners, ISOs/RTOs, FERC and NERC, state regulators and other authorities and agencies.  The creation of wholesale electricity markets over the last 30 years, which cover about 2/3 of the US population, has introduced generation competition along with new market mechanisms by which generators can be compensated.

Transmission is also technically complex.  Very detailed, rigorous planning and engineering is required to obtain high levels of reliability.  New transmission facilities and generator interconnections must be thoroughly analyzed, meet applicable standards and requirements, and avoid impacting the reliability of the larger transmission grid.

Why Take This Course

This course provides professionals with a basis for working with electric power transmission, including a knowledge of how the industry is structured and operated in the US, transmission stakeholders, and the equipment and facilities that comprise transmission.  It provides a basis for its companion course "Interconnection of Utility-Scale Solar PV to Transmission."

What You Get
This course has been designed so that you will:

  • Get an understanding of electric power transmission in the US
  • Become conversant in the language and concepts of transmission, have better conversations with colleagues, and become more efficient in your job responsibilities
  • Become more valuable to your organization and enhance your career progression

What You Can Expect

The course is a comprehensive introduction to electric transmission.  It covers non-technical topics such as the industry structure, stakeholders, and their roles, but it also presents an overview of the facilities and equipment.  The facilities and equipment topics are designed to give students a basis for more detailed learning outside of this course.  This course also provides a basis for taking the companion "Interconnection of Utility-Scale Solar PV to Transmission" course.

Visual Learning
Extensive use of graphics is used in the instructional videos, and you can download a copy of all class material for future use.

In this course, Tim Taylor, Owner of Electric Distribution Academy, brings his 30+ years of experience in utility distribution and transmission systems, utility-scale solar plants, and interconnection requirements to give students the background to succeed in the growing utility-scale solar PV industry.

Tim is readily available through the class discussion board.

Ready To Sign Up Today? Click Here to Enroll

Course outline

5 modules • 72 assignments • 8:07 hours of video lectures

Welcome • 4 assignments
Orientation Materials

This course is self-paced, so you don’t need to be logged in at any specific time. You can get started immediately after you enroll and the course materials will remain in your account with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year) after enrollment.

  • Presentation/Lecture Materials (.pdf)
  • Presentation Materials
  • Set up email notifications and your student profile
  • Introduce yourself on the discussion board
Module 1 • 2 assignments

  • Introduction from Tim (09:05 minutes)
  • Intro to Transmission - Two Page Reference (.pdf)
Module 2 • 14 assignments
Transmission Industry Structure and Stakeholders

The electric transmission industry in the US is quite complex. After a short overview of how transmission evolved in the US, we discuss the integrated generation-transmission framework we have in the US. We cover the different stakeholders and their roles in the industry, including the different types of transmission owners, federal and state regulators, and other federal, state and local stakeholders including FERC, NERC, and Reliability Coordinators, and Balancing Authorities.

  • Lecture 1 - Integrated Generation and Transmission System (24:12 minutes)
  • Example of Increased Transmission Advocacy (.pdf)
  • Glossary of Energy Terms
  • Transmission 101 (.pdf)
  • Lecture 2 - Intro to Regulation and Deregulation (15:11 minutes)
  • Electricity Transmission - A Primer (.pdf)
  • Lecture 3 - The Complexity of Transmission Expansion (09:34 minutes)
  • Why Grid Expansion is So Difficult
  • Lecture 4 - Transmission Ownership (20:23 minutes)
  • Competitive Transmission Companies and Rights of First Refusal
  • Lecture 5 - Transmission at the National Level: Part 1 (18:08 minutes)
  • Lecture 6 - NERC (21:56 minutes)
  • Lecture 7 - Other Stakeholders and Module Recap (07:30 minutes)
  • Quiz: Transmission Industry Structure and Stakeholders
Module 3 • 19 assignments
Regulation, Markets and Planning

In this module we first discuss utility regulation and what it means in the electric industry. We then discuss the deregulation that has evolved in many parts of the US over the last 30 years, and the differences between the retail and wholesale power segments. We then look at the roles of ISOs/RTOs in wholesale electricity markets that serve about 2/3 of the US population. We discuss the wholesale electric power markets that exist for energy, capacity, and ancillary services. Finally, we look at how transmission planning is conducted in the US.

  • Lecture 1 - Regulation (14:27 minutes)
  • Lecture 2 - Transmission Rates, OASIS, and OATT (10:55 minutes)
  • Formula Rates and Transmission Costs
  • Lecture 3 - Deregulation and Retail Markets (07:30 minutes)
  • US Transmission Restructuring and Deregulation (.pdf)
  • Lecture 4 - ISO's/RTO's (07:47 minutes)
  • MISO Primer (.pdf)
  • ISO/RTO Info
  • Lecture 5 - Centralized Wholesale Markets Part I (26:35 minutes)
  • Interactive Generator Merit Order
  • Lecture 6 - Centralized Wholesale Markets Part II (18:49 minutes)
  • Optional: Financial Electricity Markets
  • Lecture 7 - Transmission Planning (19:28 minutes)
  • Summary of Transmission - From DOE's National Transmission Needs Study (.pdf)
  • Grading Transmission Planning in the US
  • Transmission Planning White Paper (.pdf)
  • Transmission Cost Allocation (.pdf)
  • Opposition to New Transmission Line
  • Quiz: Regulation, Markets, and Planning
Module 4 • 17 assignments
Facilities and Equipment

In this module we cover the physical facilities and equipment that make up electric transmission. We start by looking at general characteristics of transmission systems. We then focus on transmission line design and construction, including the physical components and factors that impact design, such as environmental factors. Next, we take a look at underground transmission lines and their components and costs. Finally, we take a look at substations, including their equipment, typical configurations and monitoring, control, and automation.

  • Lecture 1 - Technical Overview of Transmission Systems (24:38 minutes)
  • Why it’s so hard to build new electrical transmission lines in the U.S.
  • Lecture 2 - Transmission Line Siting and Permitting Pt. 1 (15:00 minutes)
  • Lecture 3 - Transmission Line Siting and Permitting - Pt. 2 (14:45 minutes)
  • DOE Proposed Changes to NEPA for Permitting
  • Lecture 4 - Overhead Line Structures (16:23 minutes)
  • Optional: US RUS (Rural Utilities Service) Design Manual for HV Transmission Lines (.pdf)
  • Lecture 5 - Overhead Conductors and Transmission Line Design (19:00 minutes)
  • CAISO - Transmission Line Ratings (.docx)
  • Optional: Transmission Line Stringing
  • Lecture 6 - Insulators and Shield Wires (08:28 minutes)
  • Lecture 7 - Underground Transmission (15:28 minutes)
  • Lecture 8 - Substations Pt. 1 (15:28 minutes)
  • Lecture 9 - Substations Pt. 2 (14:46 minutes)
  • Video: Basics of Substations
  • Lecture 10 - Substation Monitoring, Control, and Protection Systems (25:14 minutes)
  • Quiz: Facilities and Equipment
Module 5 • 12 assignments
Operations, Maintenance and Other Topics

In this module, we look at the operations and maintenance of transmission systems. We look at how those activities are conducted, and their possible impacts on generation and load. We discuss operational technology systems that are used in transmission operations, such as SCADA and transmission applications that use SCADA data. We also look at Grid-Enhancing Technologies (GETs), which encompass ways of increasing transmission capacity without building new lines and infrastructure.

  • Lecture 1 - Introduction to Transmission Operations (17:58 minutes)
  • Lecture 2 - Transmission SCADA (21:02 minutes)
  • What is CIP? video by Archer on YouTube
  • NERC CIP Summary (.pdf)
  • Lecture 3 - Power Flows and Balancing Generation and Load (15:36 minutes)
  • Area Control Error (ACE) Article in Public Utilities Fortnightly
  • Lecture 4 - Planned and Unplanned Transmission Outages (14:52 minutes)
  • Day in the Life of an ERCOT Operator
  • Lecture 5 - GET's and HVDC (17:36 minutes)
  • Introduction to Grid Enhancing Technologies (GETs)
  • Optional: US DOE Report on GET's (.pdf)
  • Quiz: Operations, Maintenance and Other Topics
Conclusion • 4 assignments
Feedback and Additional Resources

This is our last module but you still have access to the all of course materials for 12 months (1 year), so keep working and you'll be able to complete the course at your own pace. After your year of access expires you can optionally extend access with a HeatSpring Membership. Enjoy the course and keep in touch!

  • 1 Year of Access to Course Materials
  • Feedback: 2-minute Exit Survey
  • Consider Joining as a HeatSpring Member
  • Certificate of Completion: Request a Certificate

Continuing Education Units

Approved for the following CEUs

Approved NABCEP CEU Hours


  • Tim Taylor

    Owner and Managing Director, Electric Distribution Academy
    View profile

    Tim is Owner and Managing Director of Electric Distribution Academy and has over 30 years of experience in distribution system engineering. He’s led and participated in many projects with many North American utilities and has also worked in Europe and Latin American. In addition to papers, articles, and conference presentations, he has served as an instructor for... Learn more

Frequently asked questions

How does this course work?
You can begin this online course instantly upon enrollment. This 5 module course is delivered entirely online. This course is self-paced and you can set your own schedule to complete the materials. You can begin the lecture videos and other course materials as soon as you enroll. During your year of access the instructor will be in the course answering questions on the discussion board every Friday. After successfully completing the course, you will be able to generate a certificate of completion.
How long do I have access to the materials?
Students get unlimited access to the course materials as soon as they enroll and for one year (365 days) after enrollment. Rewatch videos and review assignments as many times as you want. View updates the instructor makes to the course as the industry advances. Return to your course anytime with online access from anywhere in the world. After the one year of access expires, access can be extended by joining as a HeatSpring member. A single membership extends access to course materials for all past enrollments.
Is there a certificate of completion?
Yes, when you complete this course you are eligible for a certificate of completion from HeatSpring. You can download your certificate as soon as you have completed all of the course requirements. Students can easily share their verified certificates on their LinkedIn profiles using our LinkedIn integration.
Can I register multiple people?
Yes please visit our [HeatSpring for Teams](/for_teams) page to get a group discount.

The use of technology such as cookies allows HeatSpring to operate and improve the functionality of our website and derive insights about our audience.

You can read more about our privacy policy here.