Transmission financing to unlock Sardinia wind potential

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The European Investment Bank has provided Italian grid operator Terna a EUR 300 million loan to help finance a new submarine high-voltage power cable between the Italian mainland and Sardinia designed to help encourage the development of wind energy on the island. The EUR 700 million project is known as SAPEI (Sardegna-Peninsola Italiana) and involves laying a 1000 MW power cable with a submarine section length of 420 kilometres and two short land lines lined to two converter stations. The 500 kV link, which will replace the direct-current power line between Sardinia, Corsica and mainland Italy, known as SACOI, will be the deepest direct current cable ever laid, reaching 1600 metres at the deepest point. The cable will transmit wind power to the mainland. Sardinia's regional government, which was made to abandon a previous cap on wind power development on the island, is still not making life easy on wind developers. Tight restrictions have been place on new wind developments. Nevertheless, Terna also plans to strengthen its cable connection between the mainland and the island of Sicily.

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