Research and development

In 2009, the Company’s research and development activities were focused on developing environmental monitoring and control technologies, enhancing the efficiency and reliability of plant, maximising service quality and optimising the management of corporate processes.
A group of experts is constantly researching ways for improving Terna’s core processes. The team is able to make use of specialised information systems (MBI etc.) for the close monitoring of equipment.

A number of activities were identified and implemented in 2009. The main activities, some of which are still at the implementation stage, are described briefly below:

  • design of a Rapid Installation Compact Station (RICS) for temporary hook-ups to power plants of up to 170 MVA;
  • testing of High-Voltage Power Transformers manufactured by Siemens and ABB, using new manufacturing techniques and new materials designed to eliminate the dangers of gas explosions and leaks;
  • Disconnection Switches (KSBDs) to ensure safe remote line grounding operations;
  • installation of non-standard 380 kV pylons (Foster pylons) in Tuscany;
  • extension of the range of 380 kV single-shaft tubular pylons and design of a new series of 150 kV single-shaft tubular pylons;
  • introduction of new clamps and testing of anti-rotation counterweights to enhance the reliability of existing high-voltage line shunts.

These activities have been pursued using internal resources. The staff operate in working groups, a method that facilitates the spread of knowledge to all branches of the Company. Terna also draws on the specialist support of developers, universities, the associated company CESI S.p.A., and, where necessary, its main suppliers, which are also interested in the development of new technologies and operate under the supervision of project managers from within the Company.
In 2009, Terna S.p.A. incurred costs of €13.2 million in respect of CESI S.p.A. of which €11.8 million were capitalised.

For more information on how Research and Development expenditures are presented in the accounts, please consult “Intangible assets” under section “A. Accounting policies and measurement criteria” in the notes to Terna S.p.A.’s financial statements at December 31, 2009.