Impacts on biodiversity

Beginning in the planning stage, Ternai considers the need to preserve the environment by seeking solutions agreed on with local governments regarding the location of its electric infrastructure. Like other environmental variables, biodiversity – and in particular the presence of protected areas – therefore constitutes an important input in the sustainability-based planning of grid development. The biodiversity features of the areas that could potentially host new infrastructure are carefully studied. The information collected becomes part of the criteria determining the final route and are available in the parts of the Environmental Report containing regional details that accompanies the Grid Developmenti Plan.  
This approach was confirmed in the protocol of understanding signed by Terna and the WWF, which provides for, among other things, the incorporation of environmental criteria consistent with the WWF’s conservation strategy in the planning of new lines.  

To reduce such interference to a minimum, measures of environmental mitigation are adopted during both its construction and its operation. In the event such measures are not sufficient to reduce the interference to levels of little significance, environmental compensation measures are adopted, i.e. actions in areas near the electric lines.    

The main mitigation and compensation measures involve:
  • environmental restoration consisting in the construction of naturalistic engineering works to regulate the surface outflow of meteoric water and thus control the phenomenon of soil erosion
  • reforestation, through the planting of native species of trees and shrubs belonging to the vegetation of the area 
  • turfing by sowing seeds belonging to native species together with natural fertilizers and adhesives that help them take root. The use of native species prevents the phenomenon of floristic pollution via the introduction of species that are extraneous to the environment  
  • compensation, i.e. offsetting the cutting down of trees along the planned lines by planting trees of the same species in equivalent places.   
With regard to the species of flora and fauna potentially involved, see the 2010 Environmental Report.

During the construction of infrastructure the habitats and species of the flora and fauna concerned are monitored. Specifically, environmental analyses are performed before construction and the data obtained are then compared to those from samples taken subsequently in order to promptly identify the appearance of any signs of deterioration.    

Terna is also investigating the possibility of using the lines of the NTG to support environmental monitoring. In effect, the installation of specific sensors on line towers would enable the implementation of programs for environmental data collection agreed on with local governments and park agencies. In this way, furthermore, in addition to expanding the range of potential uses of its transmission infrastructure, Terna could make a significant contribution to the monitoring and management of biodiversity and the environment.