Italy's largest islands connected to the mainland

28 March 2023

To claim the maximum benefit from renewable energy in the future, the islands of Sardinia, Sicily and the Italian mainland must be able to flexibly exchange electricity. To help make this possible Siemens Energy has been contracted to provide the high-voltage direct current transmission technology for a 970 km long power link that connects the islands to the mainland. The interconnectors will each be an HVDC bipole of capacity 1 GW, at ±500 kV.

Italian transmission system operator Terna awarded the contract to a consortium of Siemens Energy and Italy's FATA (part of Danieli group). The consortium is to supply four converter stations for the Tyrrhenian Link project. As well as increasing grid stability the new link will enable closure of coal-fired power plants on the two islands. The order volume for Siemens Energy amounts to just under € 1billion.

To meet the EU’s ‘Fit-for-55’ targets by 2030, it will be necessary to install in Italy 70 GW of new renewable energy capacity to reach at least a 65 % share of gross electricity consumption. Interconnecting Italy's largest islands and the mainland will make it possible to flexibly transport green energy to where it is needed.

Tyrrhenian Link is Siemens Energy's first HVDC project in Italy. It will build four converter stations at the respective end points of the two sections of the link: The East Section of the link connects Campania on the Italian mainland with Sicily, while the West Section connects Sicily with Sardinia. Siemens Energy will manufacture the main components of the four stations, such as the converter technology, transformers, and switchgear, in Europe. Consortium partner FATA, in sub-consortium with Italian construction companies Impresa Manca Costruzioni Generali S.p.A. and Pizzulo Costruzioni s.r.l., will be responsible for the civil works, electromechanical installation, construction of ancillary facilities and pre-commissioning support. Construction of the converter stations is scheduled for completion by the end of 2028.

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