Today the Ministry of Defence, led by Elisabetta Trenta, and Terna CEO Luigi Ferraris signed a framework agreement and letter of intent. The objectives: improved efficiency in energy consumption; greater security and protection from cyber attacks; reduced polluting emissions and consumption costs, and the increased use of renewables – an absolute first.
Synergies in the field
The agreements are the result of on-going negotiations between the two administrations, to summarise common strategies and scenarios. Defence is one of the most energy-consuming State departments. Terna, due to its position as the main owner of the Italian National Transmission Grid for high and very high voltage electricity, considers energy efficiency a significant part of its mission. A note states that the aim of the agreement is “to improve the resilience of the national electricity transmission system, also through the creation of electrical interchange centres such as smart cities”.
Smart Military Districts
The framework agreement was signed by CEO Ferraris and the undersecretary Angelo Tofalo. The ministry of defence explained that “the collaboration will focus on the experimentation of Smart Military Districts: smart energy districts where it will be possible to maximise energy efficiency, supply from environmentally sustainable sources and the use of self-consumption”. But an equally important aspect is protection against risks: “The management of energy flows in real time must take place with a certain level of security, with a view to the paradigm of the energy security-cyber security binomial“. According to Mr Tofalo, “the virtuous approach of the department of defence can and must be an example for other sectors of the Public Administration in the context of the national security strategy“.
The EU OSMOSE project
Air Force General Francesco Noto, head of the Energy Project Structure (SPE) at the office of Minister Trenta, signed a letter of intent with Mr Ferraris regarding the Ministry of Defence’s participation in the European Union OSMOSE (Optimal System-Mix of flexibility Solutions for European Electricity) Project, which Terna is already involved in. Within the scope of OSMOSE, Terna is developing an impact analysis on cyber security within the project to maximise the technical and economic efficiency of the European electricity system. The Ministry of Defence will participate as a project partner, by making the Navy Arsenal in Taranto (high voltage network) and military airports in Grottaglie (TA) and Gioia del Colle (BA) (medium voltage networks) available.
The stipulated agreements do not entail any burdens between the parties and are an experiment to be consolidated day by day. However, the speed of technological evolution will not allow for hesitation. In fact, the combined expertise and institutional missions of Terna and the Ministry of Defence makes the commitment undertaken by both more than strategic. Just think of Defence: “the reduction of energy consumption and the consequent economic expenditure” as well as “the implementation of energy efficiency interventions on end use, as well as the modelling of high energy resilience sites also through the use of renewable energy technologies, at key sites located in national territory“.
Network risk prevention
As Terna CEO Mr Ferraris pointed out, “today’s agreement is an important step forward for Terna and the Italian economy in the area of energy security, as an enabler for national security. It is the first stage of the ever-closer cooperation between public institutions and strategic companies for the creation of a “sustainable security” model. Energy network protection needs to be absolute. Blackouts such as those that occurred yesterday in Argentina and Uruguay, with 50 million people left in the dark, would have devastating effects here in Italy“.