Terna to invest over 21 bln euros in Italy power grid in 10 years
MILAN, March 15 (Reuters) - Italian power grid operator Terna (TRN.MI) will invest over 21 billion euros ($22.41 billion) in the next 10 years in speeding up the energy transition and reducing the country's dependence on foreign supplies under a new plan unveiled on Wednesday.
The total investment is 17% higher than in a previous 10-year plan, Terna said in a statement.
An innovative 'hypergrid' project is the main new feature introduced in the new plan, with investments of 11 billion euros in five new electricity 'backbones' that will double the power exchange capacity from the south to the north to 30 gigawatts.
The hypergrid, to be completed in the next 15 years, will allow Italy to make renewable energy available across the whole country.
"Renewable energy sources represent our oil. Enabling their deployment and integration is part of our mission as directors of the electricity system and will be decisive for our country's energy security," Terna CEO Stefano Donnarumma said.
The Italian government could raise its green energy goals, targeting an additional renewable energy capacity of around 85 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, Energy and Environment Minister Gilberto Pichetto Fratin said attending Terna's presentation.
Speaking at the event, Donnarumma added that Italy could also develop power lines with both Algeria and Egypt to become an energy hub for southern Europe under a plan sponsored by the government.
"I am convinced that Italy, with its large power grid, is destined to play a role as an energy hub in southern Europe and Terna will play its part," the top executive said.
Last year the European Union said it would support the construction of an underwater power line project between Italy and Tunisia with around 307 million euros of funding.
($1 = 0.9369 euros)
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