NPR has an excellent online interactive map to help listeners to visualize and understand the nation’s electrical network, and to view proposed fixes to this aging infrastructure. The tabbed map view has an overview of the grid network (with map overlays of proposed national grid infrastructure), sources of power by state (with percentage of power from coal, gas, nuclear and renewable energy), the location of power plants, the current capacity of solar power, and existing and poposed wind power capacity and projected transmission lines.
I’ve been following the issue of a new national grid and renewable energy fairly closely these last six months, and I’m impressed with the utility of this visualization. The sources of power tab deserves close inspection. I was surprised to learn that Idaho is one of the cleanest states, with nearly 80% percent of their power from Hydro and less than 1% from coal. In contrast, and not surprisingly, Kentucky gets 98% of their power from coal.