Lines in protected areas

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EN11Considering the importance of the proximity of protected areas or in any case of natural interest areas for the risk of a negative impact by Terna’s plants on birdlife, the interaction between lines and such areas is constantly monitored. Given the extension of the grid all over Italy, the main instrument for identifying the critical stretches of line is a complete territorial database with data from ministries and the Regions. These data were acquired through data-exchange protocols for the purpose of applying the SEA to the NTG Development Plan. The data collected were harmonized and included in a standard cartographic system at the national level. In addition to the location of electricity lines, the main information included in the data base regards geological, hydro-geological, naturalistic, and landscape aspects, including:

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

With the support of the database, Terna has made an inventory of possible interference between its structures (lines) and protected areas or areas with high biodiversity, by cross-referencing data (through the use of cutting edge GIS - Geographic Information System - instruments) relative to electricity grids with data regarding the land. Considering all the kinds of protected areas established by different laws (national and regional parks, national and regional reserves, SCIs – Sites of Community Importance, SPZ – Special Protection Zones) and eliminating overlaps, 9.3% of Terna’s grid (5,385 km) crosses protected areas for stretches that range from a few hundred meters to several tens of kilometers.

In all, net of overlaps, protected areas cover 22.3% of Italy’s territory.