T&D World Magazine

Upgrading Italy’s Transmission Grid

A project for sustainable development of Italy’s transmission electricity grid includes demolishing over 1,200 km of obsolete power lines and structures and installing 450 km of new high-tech lines and facilities, mainly innovative structures having a low environmental impact and underground cables. Flavio Cattaneo, Terna’s CEO, presented the new plan, titled: 10 projects for sustainable development,” before the Minister of the Environment and Territorial and Sea Protection Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio. All the building sites and authorization procedures will begin within 2007. The one-billion Euro project involves 11 regions: Lombardy, Piedmont, Veneto, Umbria, Abruzzo, Tuscany, Lazio, Campania, Basilicata, Calabria, Sicily. Terna is the National Grid Operator.

The 10 Projects presented represent the most important development, safety and rationalization work of the electricity grid ever planned in Italy; they were designed in an environmentally sustainable way focusing on the territory and were fully coordinated with the local institutions. There will be multiple benefits for the environment, for the system’s safety, for the service’s quality and for the territory. “Guaranteeing efficiency, development and safety of the electricity grid with the lowest possible environmental impact is among Terna’s priority objectives in its mission as National Transmission Grid Operator,” stated Flavio Cattaneo.

In addition to pulling down 4,800 high voltage structures, 161 of which made of reinforced concrete, the work planned by Terna will include over 4,000 hectares of land that will be freed and a considerable amount of building materials that will also be recovered (steel, glass, aluminum, etc.) for a total of over 60 thousand tons, equal to the weight of nearly 10 Eiffel Towers. The work to be carried out on the electricity grid will also considerably increase the production of “green” energy, allowing the connection of new wind-power systems for approximately 1,000 MW. Finally, the quality of the electricity service will be improved for families and industries: there will be a reduction of grid losses for nearly 300 million kWh, equal to the yearly consumption of 100,000 families.

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