Photo: Courtesy: Terna

Terna investing over €1 billion in new subsea power link

Italian transmission system operator Terna has begun the participatory design of the Adriatic Link, the new subsea power line which will connect Abruzzo and Le Marche.

For the purpose of the porject Terna said it will invest over €1 billion, involving approximately 120 companies directly and through allied industries.

The new interconnection, approximately 285 kilometres long overall, will consist of an undersea cable, two buried overland cables and two converter substations located nearby the existing Cepagatti (Abruzzo) and Fano (Le Marche) electrical substations.

This project, on the cutting edge of technology and environmental sustainability, is strategic for the Italian electricity system.

The infrastructure will facilitate the development and integration of renewable sources, helping to decarbonise the Italian electricity system, in line with the targets outlined by the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan for Italy.

Additionally, it will help improve the electricity exchange capacity between the various regions of the country, especially between the Centre-South and the Centre-North, thanks to the increase in power of approximately 1,000 MW, improving the transmission grid’s efficiency, reliability and resilience.

The Adriatic Link, which ARERA recently judged favourably in its opinion sent to the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, is among the main grid development projects Terna has planned.

With nearly €9 billion in investments called for in Terna’s 2021-2025 Industrial Plan, Adriatic Link further reinforces its role as an energy transition manager and facilitator, as well as Italy’s role as an electricity hub for Europe and the entire Mediterranean area.

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Cabling Operations

According to Terna, the project will be in compliance with the highest sustainability and environmental protection standards through the study and sharing of the possible locations, with the goal of limiting the length of cable stretches as well as minimising possible interference with areas that are environmentally, naturally, scenically or archaeologically important.

The undersea cable laying will take place at a maximum depth of 250 metres, with a controlled horizontal drilling technique (CHD) used for the landing points, allowing the pipeline installation without any impact on the coastline and guaranteeing that the electrical connection will be protected in the event of coastal erosion. Cables will be laid between 4 and 8 metres deep at the shoreline.

For the most part, the land route, approximately 35 kilometres long overall (around 15 for the Le Marche stretch and 20 for the Abruzzo stretch), will follow the existing roadways, with two cables laid inside small trenches 80 centimetres wide and 1.6 metres deep. CHD will also take place at crossings in order to reduce the amount of excavation as well as the construction sites’ interference with the roadways.