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The power delivered by the solar wind dynamo to the open magnetosphere is calculated based on the concept of field line reconnection, independent of the MHD steady reconnection theories. By recognizing a previously overlooked geometrical relationship between the reconnection electric field and the magnetic field, the calculated power is shown to be approximately proportional to the Akasofu-Perreault energy coupling function for the magnetospheric substorm. In addition to the polar cap potential, field line reconnection also gives rise to parallel electric fields on open field lines in the high-latitude cusp and the polar cap regions.