Lines in protected areas



Considering the importance of that proximity to protected areas or areas of natural interest can have on the risk of Terna’s plants having a negative impact on birdlife, the interaction between lines and these areas is constantly monitored. The main tool for identifying critical stretches of line is a very complete territorial database, populated with data provided by Regions and Ministries. This data was acquired through exchange agreements with numerous public bodies and administrations. The data collected has been made uniform and entered in a standard mapping systemat the national level. Besides the location of power lines, the main information in the database regards geological, hydro-geological, naturalistic and landscape aspects, among which the following are notable:

  • degree of seismicity;
  • climate data;
  • national polluted sites;
  • the official list of protected areas, riverside parks, natural parks, reserves, terrestrial and marine national parks
  • Sites of Community Importance (SCIs) and Special Protection Zones (SPZs);
  • Important Bird Areas (IBAs);
  • landscape-risk map;
  • legislative restrictions and administrative boundaries.

With the support of the database, Terna has carried out an inventory of possible interferences between its structures (lines) and protected or high-biodiversity areas, combining the data on the electricity grid with those of a territorial nature, present in the database, using the most accredited GIS (Geographic Information System) tools. Considering all types of protected areas defined by various national and regional laws, national and regional reserves, SCIs - Sites of Community Importance, SPZs - Special Protection Zones), and eliminating overlaps, 9% of Terna's electricity grid (4,950 km) crosses protected areas for stretches of a length ranging from a few hundred metres to several tens of kilometres.

In all, net of overlaps, protected areas cover 22% of Italy’s territory (this figure does not take into account protected marine areas).