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The benefits. The national electricity transmission grid in the Alto Bellunese area features a low level of interconnection. The territory is crossed by both 132 kV and 220 kV lines which are not connected and therefore cannot support one another should the need arise. The lack of connection between the lines derives from the absence of transformer substations capable of connecting the two different voltage levels. With this lack of interconnection, the area is exposed to a high black-out risk. Terna has therefore decided to improve service security and continuity. The work will allow the electricity grid in the Alto Bellunese area to meet growing energy demands resulting from development of increasingly sustainable tourism, with electric vehicles as one of its real strengths. Furthermore, it will allow the Belluno Province to be fully prepared for the 2021 ski world championships.

The project. The work will be carried out according to the highest sustainability and environmental-protection standards and will see the creation of a new 24 km 132-kV underground cable connection. The project will connect the Zuel and Somprade substations (15 km in the Municipality of Cortina and 9 km in the Municipality of Auronzo) with a new 1.5 hectare 132/220 kV substation in Auronzo, in Cima Gogna. The interconnection will link the existing 132 kV lines to one another and connect them to the existing 220 kV line, which currently runs from Lienz (Austria) down to the lower Veneto area, without issuing energy into the Alto Bellunese electricity grid.

Dialogue. In 2016, Terna launched talks with the Municipalities of Auronzo and Cortina. For the first time, this also involved the local population right from the initial project-definition phase, discussing and sharing solutions directly with inhabitants during six days of meetings with citizens (“Terna Incontra”). The meeting days were split into three stages: explaining the territory's electricity needs, illustrating and sharing information about the new infrastructure and presenting the underground cable project.

The stages. Since 2014, Terna and the Veneto Regional Authority have been carrying out surveys to explore various route options for the new 132 kV power line. In 2016, the approval process was launched with local authorities and the local population. In 2017, Terna presented the Cortina-Auronzo underground cable connection project to local authorities. In June 2018, the project authorisation request was sent to the Ministry of Economic Development.