Grid upgrade needed says transmission operator

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Italy must bolster its national electricity grid to accommodate the expected increase in electricity from wind energy, the chief executive of transmission system operator Terna has told a parliamentary commission. "A priority has become the creation of new lines that allow the strengthening of the grid, which is indispensable for guaranteeing the full use of wind energy produced. If the grid is not developed adequately, along with the increase in plants, there is a risk of congestion and limitations on operations with an impact on system management and on the quality and cost of the electricity service," Flavio Cattaneo said in testimony to the Senate's environment commission. Cattaneo said that Terna's 2009-2013 strategic plan foresees investments of EUR 3.4 billion in the national grid, of which more than one-third is for the transmission of renewable energy sources. Terna expects Italy's installed wind capacity to rise to 6 GW in 2011 and 9.6 GW by 2014 from 3.7 GW at the end of 2008.

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