CERN developed its own electrical transmission and distribution network since the amount of electrical power necessary for the running of its accelerators and experiments is significant and deserves proper management. At peak consumption, CERN uses about 200 megawatts of power, which is about a third of the amount of energy used to feed the nearby city of Geneva in Switzerland.
The EL group is responsible for the management and operation of the CERN electrical transmission and distribution network from 400 kilovolts to 400/230 volts, as well as for the optical fibre network. Its main missions are to operate, maintain, consolidate and upgrade these networks. It also analyses and makes projections for the CERN electrical energy consumption and manages the relations with the electricity suppliers.
Another important activity is to provide power and signal cables and standardised racks for the accelerators and experiments over the entire CERN site.
Finally, the group maintains databases and tools for electrical equipment and cable installations, as well as computer-aided design (CAD) systems tools for electrical design and integration studies.