Batteries and renewable sources, the future of energy comes from Sardinia

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Sardinia: Terna inaugurates Europe’s most advanced centre for the protection and support of electricity grids.

The heart of the alliance between smart grids, renewable energies, and accumulators is in Sardinia, Italy. Europe’s most technologically advanced centre in support and protection of electrical grids was recently established in Codrongianos, in the Sardinian province of Sassari: with 250 thousand sq m of space for hi-tech research and innovation, the centre provides a number of forefront solutions such as accumulating systems, synchronous condensers, and underwater cables that are unique in the world.

The centre, created by Terna, is an extraordinary technological “village”: it covers a surface as big as 33 football fields and it was realized with an investment of over € 70 million thanks to the joint work of 40 enterprises and over 100 people.

It is not by chance that the project was realized in Sardinia: since 2009, the island’s wind energy capacity exceeded 1,000 MW and its photovoltaic capacity grew twentyfold, reaching a level of over 720 MW. The island represents a model for the new paradigm shift taking place in the electricity sector. It has started an operational electrical experiment that is unique in the world: a lab for new technologies and smart grids. Terna is also developing these technologies in other territories with the Smart Island project started in the islands of Giglio, Giannutri, Pantelleria, and Certosa. The aim of the project is to integrate renewable energies, accumulators, and electrical mobility to create a safer, more efficient, and more sustainable grid.

In addition to the centre in Codrongianos, Terna has planned other interventions for the development, refurbishing, and management of the electrical grid in Sardinia. The total expenditure for the project amounts to about € 200 million, in addition to the € 800 million that have already been invested on the Sardinian territory over the last decade. The goal of the investment is to solve the current energy problems and significantly increase the safety of the island’s electric grid, in terms of quality and continuity of the electricity supplied to enterprises and private buildings. The plans include works in the Cagliari area aimed at reducing the impact of the electrical infrastructure currently spread on the territory; the railway lines “S.Teresa-Tempio-Buddusò” and “Selargius-Goni”; the electric station of Selegas; the strengthening of the electric grid in the Gallura region.

The new centre in Codrongianos represents five record achievements. The Storage Lab in the Codrongianos site sets a world record in the battery sector for using as many as 7 different technologies at the same time. The centre is also Europe’s most technologically advanced pole for the support and protection of the electrical grid. Moreover, Sardinia is the first region in Italy to host two synchronous condensers, specifically designed by Terna to better manage renewable resources. In addition to this, the SA.PE.I. underwater cable that connects the island to the rest of the country is the deepest in the world. Another record is held by the SA.CO.I. line that connects Sardinia to the Italian peninsula through Corsica: it was the world’s first three-terminal high-voltage DC connection and it’s been working for fifty years. The Codrongianos plant hosts Italy’ first operational synchronous condensers, large machines that guarantee a safe management of electric current. Terna is also experimenting and using the most recent technologies for a safe and efficient electricity accumulation: the Storage Lab already hosts 7.4 MW operational batteries, and an additional capacity of 0.4 MW is currently under realization.

For further information, visit the website of Terna

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