Terna Group has signed an agreement with Interconnector Italia for the establishment of an Italy-France interconnector between the two nations.

The agreement pertains to the private part of the interconnector project and it is about the construction and operation of 320kV DC interconnection, which will connect Italy and France.

The agreement represents the first implementation of Italian Law 99/09 which, for the private development of interconnection capacity with other countries, introduced the obligation for energy-intensive companies to finance and for Terna to construct interconnection power lines “for the purpose of creating the electricity single market”

The consortium of Interconnector Italia has completely acquired the capital of Piemonte Savoia S.r.l. (PI.SA.) formerly controlled by the Terna Group through Terna Interconnector S.r.l.

On behalf of the Italy-France Interconnector, PI.SA, has an exemption right for third-party access (TPA) – for a capacity of 350 MW, for a period of 10 years.

Mandate contracts for a total amount of about € 415 million and related to the construction (EPC) and the operation (O&M) of the Italy-France Interconnector were also signed.

It is claimed that the Italy-France Interconnector has a total cross-border exchange capacity of 1.2GW available from 2020 and is considered to be a unique project for its engineering and technological solutions. It has also been recognised the European Commission as Project of Common Interest (PCI).

The project will have a total length of 190km and is claimed to be the longest DC underground power line in the world, which is fully integrated within the transport infrastructure.

The project could be operational in early 2020 and is expected to increase about 40% the electricity trading capacity between Italy and France, in line with the European strategy to strengthen electricity interconnections between member countries aimed to improve competitiveness in the market.