PurposeProjects and progress 2009


Designing supports with less visual
encumbrance and/or better environmental integration

Single-stem tubular supports

Continuation of the design, begun in 2008, of a second series of supports for 150-kV lines with a better mechanical performance.
Completion of the design and execution of the load trials, begun in 2008, of a single-stem, tubular 380-kV support. 

Foster pylons

The segment of the “Tavarnuzze-Casellina” line with 9 pylons designed by Norman Foster was completed and put into operation.

“Pylons of the future” international competition

The competition ended with the award ceremony for the top three entrants. The first prize was awarded to the architect Hugh Dutton, from the Rosental Studio. The beginning of the stage of engineering the series of pylons is scheduled for 2010.

Enhancing the transmission capacity of existing lines


Innovative high-performance conductors

A new kind of conductor is being installed. They are characterised by a high thermal limit and reduced elongation, which is useful for resolving critical situations connected with distances from sensitive places such as schools, kindergartens, inhabited houses, and workplaces. Additional solutions are being developed that use ceramic materials and ones with carbon, which are characterised by high electric and mechanical performances and are particularly suited for reconstructing electric lines without replacing the pylons. 

Fast replacement of fallen pylons

Light structures to use as replacements

Completed the design and acquisition of a kit of six quickly installable emergency temporary supports. The trials are scheduled to be completed and kits made available to maintenance teams by early 2010.

Improvement of surface insulation in highly polluted environments


Polymeric insulators

Because of their surface characteristics and their lightness, polymeric insulators (silicon resins and fibreglass) are particularly suitable for areas with heavy saline or industrial pollution.

The technology for diagnosing insulators was consolidated and experimentation of methods for replacing them with the line in operation will continue. Equipment with silicon insulators are also installed in stations to replace the most dangerous ceramic ones. Specifically, all new current transformers are insulated with silicon, as are switches and power transformers.


Early detection of abnormal situations

New sensors on equipment and machinery

The installation was completed in the Lacchiarella station of a new kind of sensor positioned on the equipment and machinery.
They will undergo a trial period, with a view to installing them widely.


PurposeProjects and progress 2009


Reduction of the construction time and size of electric stations



Quickly installed compact station

Integrated compact station equipment (MCI) : Terna introduced new equipment containing more than one function (switching, sectioning, and measuring) in a single case, thus reducing the amount of space occupied for the construction of stations.

In 2009, the Arco and Ardenno stations were put into operation and the installations were completed in the Lago Boracifero station in Tuscany.


As part of its pursuit of solutions to ensure a fast reactivation of the service after a case of disaster recovery, the Company designed a mobile 150-kV station entirely mounted on three trolleys that can be moved to the site of use without the necessity of special kinds of transport.

The mobile station was conceived in such a way that its insertion in a 150-kV line can be quickly carried out through connections with connector cable, all of which is assembled and tested at the factory.


Increased automation




Transformer security

New earthing devices for works

Terna designed and constructed devices that can replace operators and make manoeuvres on infrastructure faster. Once testing was completed, in 2009, 80 prototype devices designed in collaboration with the Company’s main suppliers were installed.

New power transformer project

After serious failures recently occurred on large power transformers, Terna introduced a series of improvements aimed at increasing the intrinsic security of the same. In particular, polymeric insulators will be installed to replace ceramic ones.The former have the advantage of tolerating stress better and do not project fragments in case of malfunctions. A series of reinforcements will be made on the winding and casing, which will be tested by a “short-circuit trial” carried out for each kind of transformer.