Italy’s Terna invests €11bn in Hypergrid project

Rome: Italian TSO Terna has announced an €11 billion ($11.7 billion) HVDC project known as Hypergrid within its development plan for 2023.

The Hypergrid network, a grid modernisation project, is being touted by the TSO as one of the main features of their development plan.

The project will leverage HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) transmission technologies to modernise existing power lines on the country’s east and west backbones, down to the South and the Islands, alongside new 500kV undersea connections.

In this way, the performance of these lines will be increased, their environmental impact reduced and more power generated by renewables in Southern Italy and transmitted towards high-load areas in the North.

Through the project, exchange capacity will double from the current 16GW to over 30GW. According to Terna, development of the direct current backbones will also minimise land use and environmental impact of their transmission grid.

The €11 billion project constitutes more than half of the TSO’s energy transition budget in their Development Plan, totalling €21 billion ($22.3 billion) and consisting of four action plans:

The TSO is calling it their most ambitious plan yet, aiming over the next decade to accelerate the energy transition, promote decarbonisation across the country, reduce dependence on foreign supply sources and increase the environmental sustainability of the Italian electricity system.

Over 30 projects are catered for by the plan and Terna will adopt a modular approach to develop a flexible investment model in the hopes of developing new grid infrastructure that reflects the actual energy scenario.

For this reason, planning and authorisation procedures for the new Hypergrid projects will be launched so that they can be implemented in line with system priorities.

The Plan was presented yesterday by CEO Stefano Donnarumma during a press conference with Chairwoman Valentina Bosetti, attended by Gilberto Pichetto Fratin, Minister of the Environment and Energy Security, and Stefano Besseghini, President of ARERA, the Italian Regulatory Authority for Energy, Networks and Environment.

Said Donnarumma, as quoted by Terna on Twitter: “The investments included in the 2023 Development Plan are the highest ever envisaged by Terna and will enable the energy transition and the achievement of the objectives that Europe and Italy have set for themselves in a decisive way”.

“All the actions in PDS23 serve to bring Terna, one of the largest TSOs in the world, to have one of the most efficient, ever more capacious, secure, competitive grids, using the most modern technologies.” Left to right: Stefano Besseghini, Valentina Bosetti, Gilberto Pichetto Fratin and Stefano Donnarumma.