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The benefits. It is necessary to increase cross-border interconnections in Europe in order to optimise the use of resources and increase development of renewable energy. The 2000 MW Italy-Switzerland cross-border interconnection represents access to one of the most important switching points in the European transmission system, where the Central-Northern European surplus and a portion of the power generated in Eastern and Western Europe converge. The work will allow increased power exchange between bordering nations and cheaper electricity for businesses and citizens.

The project. The Italian stretch will run for 180 km, and the connection is formed by two sections with different characteristics. Around 65% of the line, between the current Baggio (Milan) and Pallanzeno (Domodossola) electrical substations, will reuse the route of an existing power line. This is thanks to the use of HVDC technology (extra-high-voltage direct current connection) and the consequent reduction in the relevant buffer zones. Meanwhile, HVAC (extra-high-voltage alternating current connection) technology will be used from Pallanzeno to Passo S. Giacomo, on the Swiss border, and the project will be integrated with the rationalisation of the Val Formazza lines. Existing and rationalised 220 kV lines as well as a new 380 kV line will be used in order to realise the full potential of the 2000 MW HVDC line. Both conversion substations will be in Italy (one near the existing substation of Baggio in Settimo Milanese and the other near the Pallanzeno substation).

The stages. In February 2017, Terna met with the local citizens of Val Formazza and Val d’Ossola to outline the characteristics of the interconnection project with Switzerland and present the various options for the project and the rationalisation of the local grid. After compiling the requests of local stakeholders, Terna presented further investigations to the Ministry of the Environment regarding the environmental-impact study previously submitted.