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Italy cut off from the European network.

Source: RTE 28/09/2003

Following the successive deconnection of all the electricity highways linking it with Switzerland, Austria and France, Italy was deprived of electricity from 3:30 this morning.

According to information recorded by ETRANS (the Swiss co-ordination centre for the European electricity system), at 03:00 this morning, a first 400,000 V line located in Switzerland near the Italian border was disabled for reasons that are as yet unknown.

At 03:25, another 400,000 V "electricity highway" located in Switzerland failed. It was then followed by two others, one in Switzerland and another between Austria and Italy. A few seconds later, according to ETRANS, the interconnection lines between France and Italy also failed.

The Italian system operator (GRTN) immediately informed RTE that the Italian system had been cut off from the entire interconnected European network, and a substantial portion of its system had lost power. RTE acted at once to provide its Italian counterpart with all possible resources to help restore the situation.

Subsequent analyses will reveal the precise chain of events and, following the incidents that have occurred this summer in North America, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Denmark, the European transmission system operators will have to learn lessons from these experiences.

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