July 15, 2011 / 5:36 PM / 8 years ago

Italy power grid to develop 130 MW storage systems

* Batteries to be built in southern Italy within 3 years

* Total investment seen at several hundred million euros

* Terna eyes building water reservoirs for power generation

ROME, July 15 (Reuters) - Italy’s power grid operator Terna plans to develop 130 megawatt of batteries to store electricity in the next three years, riding a wave of renewable energy boom, Terna’s chief executive said on Friday.

Wind and solar farms have mushroomed in Italy in the past few years thanks to generous production incentives prompting a need to develop systems to store their intermittent production.

“Terna plans to move in this direction and has presented a project to build 130 MW of batteries to the Industry Ministry,” Terna’s CEO Flavio Cattaneo told a news conference.

The batteries would be built in Italy’s southern regions of Puglia, Basicilicata, Campania and Sicily where wind power generation has been growing rapidly in the past few years with a total investment estimated at several hundred million euros, Terna executives told reporters.

Terna has been in talks with a Japanese company over the project, they said without naming the company.

The batteries are expected to be on stream within three years, or even earlier, they said.

Terna is also interested in building reservoirs where water is pumped for power generation as part of its efforts to boost security of the national power grid.

Cattaneo said Italy, which gave up on its plans to revive nuclear power after the nuclear disaster in Japan could theoretically build 5,000 MW of hydro power generation facilities using pumping systems. (Reporting by Albero Sisto; editing by James Jukwey)

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