Transmission system operator
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In electrical power business, Transmission System Operator (TSO) refers to the operator that transmits electrical power from generation plants to the regional or local electricity distribution operators.
Transmission System Operators' electrical lines are operated with very high voltage (above 66.000Volt) and transformers are used to reduce the voltage (below 36000Volt) for electrical power distribution.
Transmission System Operators are the backbone of the electrical power grid; they are often wholly or partly owned by states or countries. Transmission System operators should interconnect to all power generators and distribution companies according to transparent and fair rules; in many cases they are independent of electrical companies upstream (generation) or downstream (distribution). They are financed either by the states or countries or by charging a toll proportional to the energy they carry.
Safety and reliability are a critical issue for Transmission System Operators, since any failure on their grid or their electrical generation sources might propagate to a very large number of customers, causing personal and property damages. Natural hazards and generation/consumption unbalances are a major cause of concern. To minimise the probability of grid instability and failure, regional or national Transmission System Operators are interconnected to other TSO.