T&D World Magazine

Work Begins to Rebuild Elba’s 132-kV Line

Work will begin in mid-September for rebuilding the 132-kV “S.Giuseppe-Portoferraio” line on Elba, Italy, the first part of a project for developing Elba’s electricity grid that will lead to grater benefits regarding the service’s safety and reduced environmental impact.

Terna’s technicians met in a meeting organized by the Transit Authority of the Province of Livorno to discuss aspects regarding the coordination of the buried cable laying activities on the Island and to define changes in the transit system that will have to be implemented. Cable-burying work will inevitably cause inconveniences to the transit system for several months: the time frame is divided into two phases: the first one from September 2009 to May 2010; the second one from September 2010 to December 2010.

In apologizing for the inconvenience, Terna confirms that the work will not hinder regular tourist activities since there will be a summer pause.

The beginning of the work follows and implements the authorization decree for the project issued by the Ministry for Economic Development on December 2, 2008 after the project was also approved by all the local bodies involved (Regional authorities, Province of Livorno, Municipality of Portoferraio, Municipality of Rio nell ’Elba, Municipality of Rio Marina, National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago, Mountain Community of the Tuscan Archipelago).

The route that was authorized in 2008 was improved with respect to the one initially proposed in 2006:

  • the segment of buried cable was nearly doubled, increasing from 4.5 km to 8.7 km (over half of the total length);
  • the overhead segment was reduced, from 9 km to approximately 7 km.

The project significantly reduces the electricity line’s environmental impact, confirming Terna’s commitment toward promoting the electricity grid’s sustainable development. The completion of the line will allow demolishing the existing “S.Giuseppe-Portoferraio” line which involves the removal of 48 pylons for a total of 13 km: considering that only 20 new pylons will be built, the old/new ratio will be of over 1 to 2. The project also includes a new overhead route that will involve a mountainous area that is scarcely populated and will also free valuable densely populated urban areas while also protecting the special reserve in the Volterraio area.

The development measures along the island’s electricity grid also include building a second 132-kV “Isola d’Elba – Continente” connection largely formed by a submarine cable between the area of Piombino and Portoferraio, yet to be authorized.

The work’s total investment equals approximately 50 million euros and is in line with the Development Plan; it will be paid for by the electricity bills of all Italian citizens. This sum will also include greater costs, for over 20 million euros, regarding the changes made to the original project.

Overall, the project is essential for guaranteeing greater safety, reliability and efficiency in the island’s electricity system. Furthermore, it will avoid completing the 132-kV ring within the island (Cala Telegrafo – S.Giuseppe – Procchio – Porto Azzurro – Portoferraio), and consequently the installation of an additional 80 pylons.

The project for the new “S.Giuseppe-Portoferraio” line represents an example of excellent coordination with the local bodies and is a reason for great satisfaction for all the Municipalities since most of the power line will be rebuilt using buried cables.

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