currENT Response to ARERA’s Network Development Plan 2021-2031
currENT thanks ARERA and Terna for the opportunity to contribute to the Network Development Plan 2021-2031. We are aware that the NDP is not based on the updated National Energy and Climate Plans, and that this will prove to be challenging as the NDP is not likely to reach the 55% emission reduction target and the Climate Law provisions. This is another reason for ARERA and Terna to be ambitious when using new, available tools to get most of the essential power networks in Italy.
currENT proposes five points for ARERA’s and Terna’s consideration:
1. GRID ENHANCING TECHNOLOGIES ARE READY FOR WIDE-SCALE USE IN ITALY
Italy wants to become an energy transit hub in the Mediterranean space. The increase of the transfer capacity North South is a requirement for taking on this role, but more grid capacity is also crucial for reaching the European Green Deal targets and improving the power network’s general resilience. Grid Enhancing Technologies (GETs) support maximising the use of the existing network and provide additional operational benefits and improve the flexibility and resilience of the network, and thus should be recognized explicitly in this and future NDPs.
2. NOVA PRINCIPLE TO BE INTRODUCED IN ITALIAN GRID PLANNING
currENT advocates that we will need to efficiently combine optimisation, reinforcement and expansion (the “NOVA principle”) to address the electrification and renewables uptake where networks move centre stage. There is no evidence in the current NDP that Italy implements this NOVA principle by using innovative technologies to optimise and enhance the grid.
3. INNOVATIVE NEW GRID SOLUTIONS MUST BE ADDED TO THE NETWORK PLANNING TOOLBOX
currENT recommends that ARERA and Terna review the processes for qualification of new technologies that have been proven in other geographies to ensure that technologies that can deliver significant value to Italy in the long-term are sufficiently included and reasonably considered as possible solutions as part of the network development plan process. currENT understands that the so-called security programme established after the Italian blackout in 2003 allows TSOs to develop urgent measures.
4. RAPIDLY DEPLOYABLE SOLUTIONS ENABLE DELIVERY OF PROJECTS AND RENEWABLES INTEGRATION
currENT recommends that ARERA and Terna consider whether any of the existing projects identified in the NDP could be improved through using rapidly deployable solutions as an interim or enabling measure, or in some cases, as a solution that can defer the need for other reinforcement. In addition, ARERA and Terna should review existing selection and evaluation processes for projects to ensure that the methods fairly value the benefits of rapidly deployable solutions.
5. COMPLEMENTARY SOLUTIONS OPTIMISE USE OF THE EXISTING GRID
currENT would like to highlight the complementarity of GETs, particularly in maintaining network resilience, managing congestion and optimising the power flows across the network. currENT recommends that ARERA and Terna consider GETs not only as standalone solutions but also as solutions that can be combined to maximise the benefits of an existing or new project, and ultimately provide maximum value to both the network and consumers.
The complete response can be accessed here.