The Balkans
Southeastern Europe is strategically important for the Italian electricity system. The region currently has the most attractive nearby power market because of the forecast medium- and long-term power surplus at competitive production costs and the diversification of supply sources, thanks to its unused potential of renewable energy, in particular hydro.  

If supported by specific intergovernmental agreements with these countries, the opportunities for developing production from renewable sources will contribute to achieving Italy’s EU targets for the reduction of CO2 emissions. In effect, Italy’s obligation to produce 17% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, provided for by The European Commission for the development of renewable energy, can be fulfilled by importing renewable energy produced in countries outside the European Union.  

Montenegro is the Balkan country in which Ternai is carrying out investment and development activities. In effect, in the Balkan area this country is of primary importance for the electrical connection thanks to its geographical location and the availability of a transmission grid in good condition and well connected with the future generation hubs of the area – Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Albania, and, via Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania – features that, together with its unused energy potential and a significant energy surplus at lower costs than Italian ones in the medium-to-long term, make it ideal for the role of an electricity-trading platform between Italy and Southeastern Europe.      

In the Balkan area Terna is already operating in Albania, with the construction of the 400-kVi Tirana-Elbasan line, which was completed in December 2010, and the 110- and 220-kVi infrastructure, which it plans to complete by the end of 2011. The total value of the contract amounts to about 13 million euro, to which Terna is contributing 2.5 million euro financed by the Italian Foreign Ministry through Italy’s Developmenti Cooperation.

In Croatia, Terna completed – in cooperation with the Croatian TSO HEP-OPS – the feasibility study regarding the new underwater electrical interconnection system with Italy.   

Finally, Terna is present in the Balkan area with two job orders for technical assistance:

  • in Serbia, for the energy regulatory authority AERS, with an 18-month contract in partnership with the Spanish consultancy Mercados and the Dutch consultancy Kema, financed by the European Commission
  • in Kosovo, for the TSO, KOSTT, focused on the operation of the electricity system and aspects of the international regulation of the electricity market, with a 24-month contract – recently extended for 22 more months – in partnership with the Scottish company IPA, financed by the European Commission.   

In 2009 the Company successfully concluded its provision of technical assistance to the Ukrainian Ministry of Energy, as well as to the Albanian distribution company KESH and the Albanian TSO, OST, and in 2010 to the Turkish TSO, TEIAS.

The northern frontier
On the northern frontier the most important development project is the one regarding interconnection with France. The 1,000-MW interconnection with France will connect the branch points of Piossasco, in Turin province, and Grand’Ile, France by direct-current land cable that will be completely underground or integrated in the infrastructure of expressway A32, which passes through the Frejus tunnel. With its long tunnels and viaducts and its extremely limited environmental impact, this technological project is unparalleled in the world. Authorized by the Italian authorities in March 2011, the line will be 190 kilometers long – about half of which will be in Italy – and will use the expressway and the new Frejus service tunnel. The benefits for the Italian electricity system consist in an increase in its ability to import lost-cost power and in the security and diversification of its supply sources.