The Terna Group has entered into an agreement with Interconnector Italia for 320 kV DC Italy-France interconnector project.

The agreement has been signed to construct and operate the private part of the 320 kV DC interconnection project which will connect Italy with France.

As part of the deal, the Interconnector Italia consortium has purchased the entire capital of Piemonte Savoia (PI.SA.), which was earlier controlled by the Terna Group through Terna Interconnector.

PI.SA has the exemption right for third-party access (TPA) for 350MW capacity up to 10 years on behalf of the Italy-France Interconnector.

In addition, the €415m worth mandate contracts have been signed related to the construction (EPC) and the operation (O&M) of the Italy-France interconnector project.

Expected to become operational in 2020, the Italy-France interconnector project has a total cross-border exchange capacity of 1,200MW.

Italy-France interconnector is identified by the European Commission as a project of common interest (PCI). The project is said to be the longest DC underground power line in the world with a total length of 190km.

It will be fully integrated with the existing road and motorway infrastructures, and will cross the border through the Frejus safety tunnel.

The project is expected to offer up to 40% increase in the electricity trading capacity between Italy and France, when it becomes operational.

According to Terna, the project is in line with the European strategy to strengthen electricity interconnections between member states to increase security of supply.