Italian transmission system operator (TSO) Terna has submitted a request for authorization to Italy’s Ministry of Ecological Transition (MiTE) to construct and operate the West Section of the Tyrrhenian Link, which will connect Sicily and Sardinia.
Following the submission of the application, the preliminary and decision-making service conferences will be held over the coming weeks during which the outcomes of the public consultation and the opinions on conformity expressed by the responsible bodies will be assessed.
The Ministry’s definitive authorization decree, after which Terna will be able to begin work, is expected by mid-2023.
This application follows the initiation of the authorization process for the route between Sicily and Campania, which makes the project’s East Branch, in November last year.
Terna began the public consultation stage for the West Section of the Tyrrhenian Link in September 2021.
Based on the evidence which emerged during the six meets organized with the local communities and institutions of Termini Imerese, in the province of Palermo, and of Maracalagonis, Quartucciu, Quartu S. Elena, Selargius, Settimo San Pietro and Sinnai, in the province of Cagliari, potential locations have been identified for future converter substations and for the route of the underground cables.
In Sardinia, from the Terra Mala landing point of the subsea cable, the underground cables will run mainly along existing roads for around 30 kilometers before arriving at Selargius, where the converter substation will be built in areas near the existing electrical substation.
In Sicily, the subsea cables will land at Fiumetorto, from where the underground cables will run for around 7 kilometers to Termini Imerese, in Contrada Caracoli, where the converter substation will be located near the existing electrical substation.
The Tyrrhenian Link, in which Terna will invest approximately €3.7 billion, will involve around 250 companies.
The interconnection will comprise two 1,000 MW direct current subsea power lines, one from Campania to Sicily and the other from Sicily to Sardinia, for a total length of 950 kilometers.
The project is expected to help Italy reach its energy transition goals, enabling the three regions to increase their solar and wind power exchange capacity generated locally.
The first cable, related to the East Branch, will be up and running in late 2025, while the interconnector is set to be fully operational in 2028.
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