Distribution Bus

The power goes from the transformer to the distribution bus:

In this case, the bus distributes power to two separate sets of distribution lines at two different voltages. The smaller transformers attached to the bus are stepping the power down to standard line voltage (usually 7,200 volts) for one set of lines, while power leaves in the other direction at the higher voltage of the main transformer. The power leaves this substation in two sets of three wires, each headed down the road in a different direction:

The wires between these two poles are "guy wires" for support. They carry no current.

The next time you are driving down the road, you can look at the power lines in a completely different light. In the typical scene pictured on the right, the three wires at the top of the poles are the three wires for the 3-phase power. The fourth wire lower on the poles is the ground wire. In some cases there will be additional wires, typically phone or cable TV lines riding on the same poles.

As mentioned above, this particular substation produces two different voltages. The wires at the higher voltage need to be stepped down again, which will often happen at another substation or in small transformers somewhere down the line. For example, you will often see a large green box (perhaps 6 feet/1.8 meters on a side) near the entrance to a subdivision. It is performing the step-down function for the subdivision.