Terna, as the TSO, operates the electricity transmission grid: almost 75,000 kilometres of high-voltage lines and hundreds of electrical substations. There are switching, converter and transformer substations: it is here that the lines transporting energy converge so that it can be distributed and, when necessary, transformed. In fact, not all energy is the same: that which circulates in the national transmission grid, at high and medium voltage, is different from that at medium and low voltage which arrives in our homes, schools, shops, industries, both for safety reasons and for adjustment to the devices and equipment to be powered.
Francesca Pede, electrical engineer of the "Engineering and Construction" area, has precisely this job. On joining Terna ten years ago, right from the start she was engaged in the construction of direct current plants. Today, in particular, she works on designing HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) converter substations, with really unique and exceptional characteristics.
These nodes of the grid are fundamental for electricity transmission because they convert High Voltage Direct Current into alternating current or vice versa. For its specific features HVDC is particularly suited to travelling long distances with really minimal dispersion. A quality which Terna, as Transmission System Operator, needs, to guarantee despatching. Thanks therefore to HVDC technology, energy travels along overhead and undersea lines and arrives at the dedicated converter substations in a very efficient way.