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Italy Approves 29 New Transmission Projects for Terna

Jan. 17, 2023
In 2022, the green light for the eastern branch of the Tyrrhenian Link, the stretch of the undersea power line that will connect Campania and Sicily .

In a new historical record for Terna, the Italian Ministry of the Environment and Energy Security and regional councils in 2022 approved 29 projects for a total value of more than €2.5 billion in investments, all aimed at developing the Italian electricity grid.

After exceeding the €1 billion in approved investments in 2021 for the first time in history, in 2022, the company led by Stefano Donnarumma achieved a new record, more than doubling the figure for the previous year and increasing the 2020 number tenfold (€266 million).

Getting the green light for the eastern branch of the Tyrrhenian Link was the biggest factor in achieving the results. This stretch of undersea power line, worth more than €1.9 billion, will connect Campania and Sicily.

The new infrastructure will improve the resilience and security of the Italian electricity grid while also promoting the incorporation of energy from renewable sources. The company’s sustainable investments create value for Italy’s system, with a positive effect on GDP and a multiplying effect on resources invested, creating hundreds of jobs and helping to make Italy even more important to the European electricity system.

Continued collaboration among Terna and the Italian ministries and regions has made it possible to achieve unexpected results, accelerating the normal times for approval procedures and administrative paperwork. "The approval process for the Tyrrhenian Link is the perfect example of this change of pace," according to the release from Terna. It only took 11 months from the start of the process to final approval.

With seven approved projects out of 29 decrees issued (24 from the Italian Ministry of the Environment and Energy Security and five from regional councils), the Lombardy Region has the highest number of new projects, for about €130 million. Next is Campania, with five projects, and then Sicily and Autonomous Province of Bolzano, with four. Additionally, eight new electrical substations were approved, including two conversion substations for the Tyrrhenian Link. 

After the record-breaking undersea cable, which will be fully operation in 2028, the most financially relevant project approved in 2022 was the Dolo-Camin power line, which will run between the provinces of Venice and Padua. The power line (16.5 km of 380-kV underground cable) will make it possible to tear down nearly 32 km of overhead power lines running through seven municipalities. These are followed by, in order of investment value, the projects planned for over €70 million in the southern quadrant of the Metropolitan City of Rome, three new underground cable lines, for a total of over 30 km and a new electrical substation, and the €65 million Livigno-Premadio connection, essential for improving the reliability of the power supply and the resilience of the Lombardy grid in anticipation of the Milan-Cortina 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Terna’s investments also have positive repercussions for the environment. More than 700 km of the power lines approved in 2022 will be undersea or underground, minimizing the impact on the landscape. In all, completing the approved projects will make it possible to tear down more than 100 km of existing overhead power lines and remove more than more than 450 pylons, returning more than 200 hectares of land to the regions and local communities involved. 

Against a backdrop of war and the resulting energy crisis that hit Europe, Terna has continued to invest in developing the electricity grid, betting on technological innovation and training highly-competent personnel, as confirmed by the Tyrrhenian Lab, the project launched in November which aims to train over 150 qualified professionals through a three-year master's degree program organized in collaboration with the universities of Cagliari, Palermo, and Salerno, the cities where the Tyrrhenian Link cables will land.

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