Processes and organisation

Bord of Directors

The Italian electricity system consists of four components: the production, transmission, distribution, and sale of electric power.

Terna’s business regards the transmission of electric power on the high-voltage grid. In particular, the Company manages the electricity system, operating the grid and striving for the utmost efficiency of the infrastructure and excellence in its maintenance through plant engineering and management and development of the grid.   

These core activities are carried out by the Operations Italy Department, with the contribution of the non-operating departments.

Processes and organization

Opertaion Processes and organisation
Operation of the grid requires at all times a balance between injections and withdrawals, i.e. between the supply of domestic and imported power and the power consumed by end users. This function is called dispatching.

Preparation for real-time operation includes planning unavailability (of the grid and production plants) with different time horizons, a forecast of the national electricity requirements, a comparison to see if it is consistent with the production plan determined by the outcome of the free power market (Electricity Exchange and off-Exchange contracts), the acquisition of resources for dispatching, and a check of the power transits for all the lines of the transmission grid.

In the real-time control stage, the National Control Center coordinates other centers throughout Italy, monitors the electricity system, and performs the task of dispatching, intervening if there are deviations – because of the malfunctioning of production plants or grid segments or because of requirements that diverge from those forecast – from the estimated balance by instructing producers and the Remote-control Centers in order to modulate the supply and the situation on the grid. In emergencies, it may also act to reduce demand in order to avoid the risk of grid degeneration and extensive disconnections.

Grid development planning
The analysis of electric power flows on the grid and the development of projections of demand enable Terna to identify the critical aspects of the grid and the new works that have to be constructed in order to ensure the system’s adequacy with respect to the satisfaction of requirements, the security of operation, congestion reduction, and the improvement of service quality and continuity.
The new works to be constructed are included in the National Transmission Grid Development Plan, which is presented every year for approval to the Ministry of Economic Development. Terna then follows the authorization process, from advance consultation with local governments all the way to the authorization to construct the work.
Finally, by analyzing the situation of the grid, Terna identifies the best ways of connecting to the grid the plants of all the companies that so request.   

Terna establishes the engineering standards of the plants, in particular the construction standards and the performances required of the equipment, machinery, and components of stations and electrical lines.  As far as plant construction is concerned, Terna prepares projects for the works authorized. In particular, it establishes the requirements of external resources and the budget for the projects, as well as the work methods and the technical specifications of the components and materials that will be used in constructing the new lines or stations, including the adoption of innovative methods. The construction of new plants is normally outsourced.

Terna sees to the maintenance of its electrical lines and stations through eight Transmission Operating Areas, which employ most (slightly less than 70%) of the Company’s human resources.

Other activities
Terna’s business relations with other parties in the industry – regarding both the transport of power from producers to distributors and trading on the Electricity Exchange – entail economic transactions whose settlement is handled by the Company. The Security Department is entrusted with establishing policies regarding the analysis, management, and control of corporate risks, the protection of the Company’s physical, human, and asset resources, and the occupational safety and health of its workers. The Department also handles relations with the judiciary and the police and assists the other corporate departments that may have critical problems.