The European Investment Bank is providing EUR 120m to IRIDE to upgrade electricity production capacity and to install remote electronic metering facilities into the electricity distribution network in Turin.

The project will increase energy efficiency and rational use of energy in Italy. Lower atmospheric pollution, including reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, will help to meet domestic electricity demand in a cost-efficient and environmentally acceptable manner.

The long-term loan will support the replacement of older fuel-oil fired thermal power technology with a cleaner and more energy efficient modern gas-fired power generation technology of higher capacity and with a lower environmental impact. It also contributes to domestic electricity production.
In particular, the re-powering of the 2nd unit at Moncalieri involves studies, design, installation, commissioning and operation of a gas turbine and a heat recovery steam generator of around 250 Mwe. The investment will transform the existing oil-fired unit of 141 MWe into a combined-cycle plant. The re-powered unit will have an electrical output of 380 MWe, and an efficiency of 57% when producing electrical energy. In co-generation mode it will have an electrical output of 334 MWe and 260 MWth of heat capacity for district heating, which results in an overall efficiency of up to 85%.

In line with the EU policies to improve economic competitiveness through innovation, the installation and remote operation of digital meters should encourage demand side management and a more efficient system load management, and thereby contribute to energy savings and a more rational use of energy. Further benefits consist of cost savings in meter reading and a reduction in non-technical losses. Digital metering, combined with GSM technology, will also help to develop innovative e-Activities. Modern metering technology will allow to introduce differential pricing according to load variations.

The Authority for Electricity and Gas has indicated its intention to enforce full diffusion of electronic metering throughout the country, with a view to introducing time-of-use tariffs for all household customers. The time-of-use pricing system would apply automatically to all households and offer discounted Sunday rates in exchange for reduced consumption during the critical peak' hours of the week.
The digital remote metering infrastructure will consist of the replacement of existing analogue meters by around 550,000 digital meters at customers' premises; the installation of around 3,700 data concentrators at existing substations and a data management centre.
In compliance with international standards, the digital metering system is designed to have less than 1% error in the reading of energy consumed.

The works of re-powering the 2nd unit at Moncalieri are planned to be completed by 2008. Implementation of the digital metering infrastructure is scheduled for the period 2007 to 2009.

IRIDE was established in October 2006 following the merger between AEM Torino S.p.A and Azienda Mediterranea Gas e Acqua (AMGA), the municipal company of Genova.