Opposition to new lines

Projects for building new infrastructures often cause adverse reactions traceable to Nimby syndrome (not in my backyard). In these cases, Terna’s approach is based on willingness to examine and find new solutions, even more technically complex from the original ones, provided they are compatible with the safety, efficiency and competitive needs of the electricity service.

Finding new shared solutions implies difficult mediation and lengthy time frames. The outcome is generally positive, but during discussions local opposition may arise that receive the media’s attention. Among these, during 2007 and in the first months of 2008, the following cases were reported:

  • Island of Elba. With regard to Terna’s project for doubling the cable connectionThe group of Grid elements forming the transmission line, and the bays at the borders of the same, includingthe related circuitry isolating apparatuses. Connections are classified by voltage level with reference to ratedvoltage. The length of the connection is generally the length of the line which forms the connection itself.Connection lineAny power line that links the power distribution plant with the user’s plant, or the power distribution plant with the connection station. between the island and the mainland and of the high voltage transmission lineHigh- and very-high-voltage power line, overhead or cable, used for the transport of electricity from theproduction plants to the distribution grids or to users. within the island, Enel had presented its own project for building a medium voltageRated voltage greater than 1 kV and lower than or equal to 35 kV. line which had received the Environmental Impact Assessment of the Tuscan Region. In 2007, three citizens’ committees were formed that opposed Enel’s project; Terna also indirectly received protests owing to its technical connection between the two projects. The solution that was later proposed by Terna to build a second submarine cable connecting the island to the mainland, reaching a different location, prevented Enel’s plan from being abandoned. The coordination phase ended positively during 2008, with a Memorandum of Understanding signed with all the local bodies involved and with the Regional Park of the Tuscan Archipelago, with wide press coverage on Terna’s proposal to solve the problem.
  • Veveri (Novara). In 2007, the citizens of Veveri protested against the construction of a power line that will cross the area of the city of Novara. The work for finding another location for building the power line was assigned to Terna by the company that is building the Turin-Milan High-Speed Rail. The variation that had been requested was not part of the developmentWorks on the electricity grid which lead to the adjustment or upgrading of the transport, transformation,connection and interconnection capacity, or an increase in operating flexibility of the grid, or the removal ofgrid elements. work scheduled by Terna and therefore the costs for placing the cables underground were charged to the requesting party. Following the coordination phase conducted by the requesting party with the Municipality, an agreement was reached for identifying another area for placing the cable underground elsewhere in the Municipality. Terna will build the connection after having obtained the Authorization Decree according to the new project following the agreement reached between the Municipality and the Company building the High-Speed Rail.
  • Dolo-Camin. A coordination phase is underway with the Municipalities and the local bodies. The Veneto Region expressed its favorable evaluation of the authorization procedure. The Municipalities of Vigonovo and Saonara requested the underground placement of the power line for the segment that crosses the Municipalities; Terna is verifying the possibility of combining the electricity line with other various existing infrastructures and others being planned by the Region. At the end of the feasibility studies, the coordination phase will continue with the two Municipalities for proposing the alternate solution that would represent a virtuous case of infrastructural corridor.
  • Borgomanero. In March 2008, the City of Borgomanero appealed to the Regional Courthouse for the building of the electricity line. The protest regarded the fact that the pylons included in the project were to cut across the entire hill of the eastern side of Lake Orta. The appeal was rejected. A Ministry Decree was already obtained for upgrading the electricity gridA group of plants, lines and stations for transferring electrical energy and supplying the necessary ancillary services. in Val d’Ossola. Work began in August 2008.
  • Montalto Uffugo On July 31, 2007 a press conference was held in the City of Montalto Uffugo for presenting the changes to be made to the 380 kV(kilovolt=1,000 Volts) unit of measurement of voltage. “Rizziconi-Laino” line that Terna drafted on the basis of a course indicated by the Province of Cosenza. The citizens of the districts involved by the present course of the line were favorable, while the mayors and the citizens of the territories where the new course has been outlined are contrary to the plan. An authorization request for building the variation was presented in December 2007

Black-out of September 28, 2003

With Resolution no. 152/2004, the Authority for Electricity and Gas opened an investigation to adopt any possible penalty measures for the black-out that occurred in all of Italy on September 28, 2003. According to this Resolution, most of the companies involved – including Terna – appealed to the possibility of paying a reduced penalty (cash settlement), in this way closing the proceedings (see the PR9 indicator). Resolution no. 151/2007 passed by the Authority for Electricity and Gas, recognized the payment of the reduced penalty and declared the proceedings ended.

Outages in Sicily in June 2006

On June 26, 2007 Terna implemented anti-black-out measures in Sicily to avoid loosing control over the system and prevent more critical situations from occurring. Electricity distributors therefore planned rotational interruptions along the grid; the measure was necessary owing to a series of concomitant factors: very high consumption, widespread fires that led to certain lines being out of use in order to allow fire fighting operations, malfunctions and breakdowns. Citizens and enterprises protested against the damage caused to their company activity by the interruption of electricity flow.
With Resolution no. 155/2007, the Authority for Electricity and Gas opened an investigation on the malfunctioning occurring in Sicily on June 25 and 26, 2007.

Environmental litigation

Environmental litigation relates to the installation and operation of Electricity Systems and especially to the effects of electrical and magnetic fields.
Terna is a defendant in a number of civil and administrative proceedings requesting the relocation of power lines or changes in operating procedures. The claims are based on the alleged health hazards posed by the power lines, even though their installation is fully compliant with regulatory requirements. Only a very limited number of suits seeking compensation for health-related problems caused by electromagnetic fields have been filed against the Company.

Mention must be given to Prime Ministerial Decree dated July 8, 2003, which completes the provisions of framework Law no. 36 dated February 22, 2001. This decree established the values for the three parameters (exposure limits, thresholds of concern and quality targets) that electrical systems must meet and has had a favourable impact on the pending dispute, as the previous framework law only stated general principles.

Highlight: Electric and magnetic fields: law limitations

Regarding decisions on these matters, during 2007, only a few adverse rulings have been issued against the Company, and these have all been appealed; the cases are still pending. No claim for damages for health-related problems has ever been accepted. The Tables of indicators should be consulted for quantitative information on environmental disputes.

There are also a number of pending disputes concerning town-planningDefinition of the usage plans, for a specific period of time, for the available means of production andtransmission, in order to satisfy the energy requirements with respect to quality and continuity of service. and environmental issues, relating to construction and operation of certain transmissionElectricity transport and transformation activities along the interconnected high- and very high-voltage grid forthe purposes of delivery to customers, distributors, and recipients of self-produced energy. lines. The effects generated by an unfavourable outcome cannot yet be forecast and therefore cannot be included in the "Legal charges". In a limited number of cases, it is currently impossible to categorically exclude an unfavourable outcome, which could lead the Company, not only to compensate damages, but also to incur in charges for changes to lines and to temporary unavailability of the lines themselves. In any case, any unfavourable outcome would not jeopardise line operation.

On the basis of examination of these disputes and on the opinion of external legal counsellors, negative outcomes are deemed to be unlikely to occur.

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