In July 2015, following on from the reorganisation of the Group's organisational structure, the new Strategy and Development Department was established, which answers to the Innovation Lab and R&D division in charge of: 

defining the approaches to research and development in order to reach the Terna Group's strategic objectives;
conducting research, also in collaboration with the Engineering and Asset Management Departments; 
monitoring research results.

The Group continues to use the specialised support of manufacturers, collaboration with universities, RSE S.p.A. (Ricerca Sistema Energetico) and CESI S.p.A., a specialised service company in which it has a 42.698% shareholding.  In particular, in 2015 the Terna Group incurred costs of € 23.7 million in respect of the associate CESI S.p.A., of which € 20.6 million were capitalised.

  • Smart Grid

    The initiatives within the Smart Grid project regard development work on electricity grids, connected or otherwise to the electricity system, aimed at an "intelligent" management of electrical resources therein, both on the production side (renewables and others) and the load side (domestic and industrial users), also including any storage systems. The initiative objectives include:

              ● the optimal usage of the available resources; 
              ● the introduction and testing of new services; 
              ● creation and testing of aggregation tools for production and loading, with possible involvement in the electricity market; 
              ● the management of intermittent renewable sources, more flexible management of the grid; 
              ● an increase in efficiency and a reduction in electricity cost; 
              ● a reduction in polluting emissions with a lower use of traditional local generation (diesel). 

    Additional sub-areas are included within this area: Active Demand, Smart Islands and, more generally, New Smart Technologies. 

  • Environmental sustainability

    The company's commitment to sustainability is divided into three areas with the purpose of:

              ● reducing the impact of company assets on the environment;
              ● strengthening the grid with the aim of supporting the transition towards renewables and towards a more efficient and rational consumption model;
              ● pre-empting and correcting the impact of climate change on electrical infrastructures in order to optimally plan future development.

  • Start-ups

    Terna is a large Italian industrial enterprise that aims to favour the growth of the country through innovation. In this light, it believes that a focus on start-ups is crucial as they are the modern expression of business innovation and it intends to take part in ad hoc initiatives created by other important companies within the financial sector.
  • Open Innovation

    The corporate development strategy is based on innovation, research and development, which are all key factors in identifying future approaches to technologies and, therefore, investments.
    In Terna's case, it would be reductive to limit itself exclusively to its own scope of action since the ability to intelligently integrate processes and areas forms the basis of Smart Grid development, which increases overall efficiency and maximises potential.
    It is within this context that Terna will take the route of Open Innovation with companies featuring strong strategic importance in future grid development.
    These collaborations will be open to sharing objectives and ideas, with the aim of creating a network of national and international excellences able to ensure a result that is greater than the sum of its parts. 

  • Transmission technologies

    Electricity transmission continues to experience great evolutions, in terms of research into efficient and effective systems to meet the paradigm shifts taking place across Europe, in line with the prescriptions of the Energy Union concerning the strengthening of the interconnection between systems and markets.
    The challenge lies in not only creating the capacity to allocate substantial volumes of renewable energy, while guaranteeing satisfactory margins of adequacy, quality and security at the same time, but also the conditions to meet ambitious targets set for eco-compatibility for the next few decades.
  • Storage

    Lo sviluppo rapido e imponente delle Fonti Rinnovabili Non Programmabili (FRNP) richiede l’adozione di nuove soluzioni di adeguamento e sviluppo del sistema finalizzate a ridurre in maniera il più possibile efficace e tempestiva l’incidenza delle criticità a esso correlate e a raggiungere l’obiettivo di promozione dell’uso efficiente dell’energia da fonti rinnovabili. Terna, allo scopo di mantenere un costante presidio su tecnologie in profonda evoluzione, ha centralizzato a Codrongianos (in Sardegna) il proprio “Storage Lab” dove, in collaborazione con primarie aziende del settore, sono attualmente testate sette diverse tecnologie. Terna ha iniziato nel 2011 un ambizioso programma di sperimentazione di sistemi di accumulo, articolato in due macro progetti, Power Intensive ed Energy Intensive, ciascuno con l’obiettivo primario di dimostrare la bontà di questi innovativi sistemi nonché di testarne al meglio le capacità e le possibilità.

New pylons

Terna has developed and continues to search for new solutions to improve the visual impact of the pylons. The main projects are currently:

  • "FOSTER"

Tubural pylons

This is the low-environmental-impact pylon which offers a reduction of up to 15 times the area occupied by the lines and the ground surface occupied by pylons (from 150 square metres for a truncated pyramidal pylon down to 10 square metres).

This pylon is already in use along some of the latest lines constructed by Terna, in particular the “Chignolo Po-Maleo” 380kV power line, for which 70% of the total route has single-stem pylons for a total of 88; the “Trino-Lacchiarella” line which has a total of 201; and the first stretch of the “Foggia-Benevento” line with 40 pylons. Other single-stem pylons are in use on the “Laino-Rizziconi” line (5) and the “S. Fiorano-Robbia” line (2).

As regards instead lines under construction, for “Udine-Redipuglia” 114 single-stem pylons are planned while for the “Benevento 2-Benevento 3” stretch of the “Foggia-Benevento” there are another 28.

Foster pylons

This is the “design” pylon which won Norman Foster, one of the major exponents of high-tech architecture, the international award “Pylons for the Environment”, held by Terna in 1999 and which marked the transition from technical design to one blending in with the landscape.

Some units have been operating for some time along the “Santa Barbara-Tavarnuzze-Casellina” line.

Rosental pylons

Winner of the "Pylons of the future" competition, launched by Terna in 2007 and concluded in 2009, to find new design solutions for pylons, able to change the visual perception.

Designed by architect Hugh Dutton (head of the Giorgio Rosental architecture group), this pylon has been in use since 2013.

It is located between Piedmont and Lombardy, along a section of the 380kV "Trino-Lacchiarella" power line.