The end of June 2018 will see the opening of the Avigliana construction site, in light of which a meeting with the local communities will take place. At this stage the work will affect 8.5 km of the SP589 main road, on the stretch between the Monte Cuneo and Antica di Francia tunnels. The duration of the works at the construction site, operational 24 hours a day, is estimated at about 12 consecutive weeks, in the period from June to September 2018. For the entire duration of the works, one lane will remain closed to enable the excavation and cable-laying work. The tunnels will remain open with only one-way traffic: 12 hours a day in one direction, the other 12 hours in the other. Terna, in close collaboration with the Municipality of Avigliana and the Municipal Police, has met several times with SITAF and spokespersons of the surrounding municipal administrations to brainstorm solutions to minimise the impact of the construction site on the area. Terna guarantees continuous updates to provide information on the progress of the works, which will also be accessible via the Municipality’s website. On 21 June, at Avigliana town hall, there has been a meeting between Terna personnel and the community to explain the details of the project and the construction site and to respond to citizens’ questions.
Why this project? The exchange of energy between Italy and France has always been characterised by wholesale pricing imbalances, with energy flowing mostly toward Italy. The 1200 MW increase between Italy and France will also increase the transmission capacity at the North Italian border by 15%, reducing grid congestion that often causes outages for citizens and business. The interconnector will make Italy’s electricity border with France its most important one. It will guarantee greater energy exchange between the two countries, greater security and an uncongested grid.
A contribution to the energy transition. The new interconnection, developed between the Piosassco and Grande-Île hubs, passing through the second Frejus tunnel, will ensure a continuous supply of electricity, thanks to better distribution of power flows through power lines, increasing electricity exchange between the two countries by 40%. The new infrastructure will also make it possible to integrate energy production from renewable sources into the transmission system, reducing CO2 emissions according to the decarbonisation targets set by the European Union for 2050. It will cost Italy and France approximately € 1.2 billion.
Where the power line goes. This project is a global first in terms of the engineering, technological and environmental solutions applied. The new 190 km (95 in Italy and 95 in France) underground cable interconnection - the longest in the world - will link the Grande-Île (Saint-Helene-du-Lac, Savoy) and Piossasco (Turin, Piedmont) electrical substations, passing through the second Frejus tunnel, which is currently under construction. In April 2018, the construction site opened along the Frejus motorway, the A32, which runs from Condove to Borgone. New construction sites will open along other stretches of the motorway. Technically, the interconnection consists of two 320 kV DC lines, each with a maximum power of 600 MW, for a total of 1200 MW with bidirectional flow.
The stages. The cable laying works on the Italian side started in March 2016, and to date have involved the Municipalities of Piossasco, Bruino, Sangano and Trana, with the completion of approximately 15 km of civil works and 13 km of cable ducts laid. The cable duct laying has mainly involved the existing roads, provincial roads SP6 and SP589, and some sections were constructed on unpaved roads and agricultural land. In August 2017, the first cauterisation front of the middle section opened. Construction sites along the A32 motorway, pertaining to SITAF, will be opened. Upon completion of the preparatory work at the site, work on the Piossasco Conversion Substation started in 2015. To date, preparatory activities are underway for the civil work on the substation. The works will proceed with the building of the foundation systems and then the construction of the substation buildings and the installation of the electro-mechanical works. The link is expected to be commissioned and enter into operation before 31 December 2019.