Milan, 28 June 2017 – Edison has inaugurated its hydroelectric plant in Pizzighettone (CR), on the Adda River, confirming its view that developing renewables is key to the company's growth. The Pizzighettone plant, a mini run-of-river hydroelectric installation with a capacity of 4.3 MW, blends perfectly into the landscape of South Adda Park, due its underground structure and special passage that allows fish to swim upstream. The plant generates sustainable energy capable of meeting the needs of 6,000 households and preventing the release of approximately 8,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

For Edison, the Pizzighettone plant represents the continuation of an industrial journey that began nearly 120 years ago on the very banks of the Adda River, where in 1898 it built what was at the time the largest hydroelectric plant in Europe and the second-largest in the world.

The Pizzighettone plant is the next step in Edison's development, as it returns to the Adda River in its continuing journey towards a sustainable energy future," commented Marc Benayoun, Edison's CEO. "In Italy alone, we have planned investments of €1 billion in 2017-2020: more than two-thirds of this will be allocated to renewables and energy efficiency. Our goal is to strengthen our position as a key player in this sector by increasing our renewable generation capacity from the current 25% to 40% by 2030."

"The Adda River and the town's walls have always formed the defining historical and visual backdrop against which Pizzighettone's history has unfolded," stated Luca Moggi, Mayor of Pizzighettone. "Edison's decision to build a renewable power plant on its banks reaffirms its strategic importance and centrality to the town, by drawing on the town's history to make an innovative leap into the future. I am honoured to be able to take an active part in inaugurating this plant, in synergy between the public and private sector that will further increase the visibility of Pizzighettone and the surrounding area."

The Pizzighettone hydroelectric plant is a run-of-river system that exploits the existing drop, fitted with a moveable barrier to optimise management, with the aim of generating an average of 18 million KWh a year. The power generated by the water driving two horizontal-axis Kaplan turbines is equivalent to the annual consumption of 6,000 households and prevents the release of approximately 8,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The turbine room, which contains two generators and the transformers with electrical panels, is totally below ground and helps ensure that the plant fits seamlessly into the landscape.

A "fish ladder" has been built on the right bank of the river. This man-made passage allows fish to swim upstream to repopulate a stretch of the Adda River (from Lodigiano to the Po River and from there to the Adriatic Sea) which had been depleted due to the water drop. The project also involved shoring up the river crossing by filling in a depression that had formed on the river bottom downstream from the crossing. The efforts to stabilise the riverbed made use of materials repurposed from the excavations to build the plant, by agreement with AIPO (the Interregional Agency for the Po River).

The two projects bear witness to the constant dialogue between Edison and local institutions and its focus on the environment and local community. This collaborative spirit also gave rise to the company's commitment to a project to build a football pitch near the plant, to be donated to the Pizzighettone community.

The work on the plant began in June 2015 and involved some unexpected episodes, such as the unearthing of an 18th-century windmill and a live bomb from World War Two, most likely dropped by U.S. forces in one of the approximately 60 bombings of the rail bridge. The bomb was detonated and the remains of the windmill were preserved in collaboration with a local group of volunteers from Pizzighettone, under the scientific direction of the Superintendency for Archaeology, the Fine Arts and the Landscape.

An itinerary designed to explain how water is turned into power starts from the walls of Pizzighettone. A series of panels and installations, spread over the path that leads to the plant, takes families on a journey of discovery of Edison's new plant. In the afternoon and evening of 28 June, from 2:30 to 8:00 PM, the Pizzighettone plant will open its doors to visitors for guided tours led by Edison employees who will explain how the plant works. The educational itinerary will be accessible until 11:00 PM and will also be open to the public on 29 and 30 June.

Edison has a long history in hydroelectric power. It built its first plant back in 1898, when Edison's founder, Giuseppe Colombo, saw the potential offered by hydropower and had the Bertini plant erected on the banks of the Adda. Over a period of 20 years, two other plants were built on the same river, examples of Italian leadership in the field that are still fully operational today: Esterle (1913) and Semenza (1920). Today, Edison's hydroelectric plants have a total capacity of approximately 1,100 MW: 1,030 MW generated by 35 large plants and 70 MW by 37 mini plants. In 2016 Edison generated a total of 2.5 TWh of hydroelectricity.

Edison's commitment to renewables also extends to wind power, a sector in which the company operates through E2i Energie Speciali, with 600 MW of installed capacity and output of 1.1 TWh in 2016. In the coming months, E2i Energie Speciali will be committed to developing an additional 165 MW of wind-power capacity within the framework of the most recent competitive auction procedure held by Italy's Energy Services Manager (GSE). The company's sustainable generation capacity is rounded out by 19 MW of photovoltaic and waste-to-energy facilities.



Edison is a leading Italian and European player in the procurement, generation and distribution of electricity, in energy and environmental services – through its subsidiary Fenice – and in exploration and production. Founded over 130 years ago, Edison has contributed to the electrification and development of Italy. It now operates in Europe, Africa and the Mediterranean area, employing 5,000 people. Edison's electric power plants have a total capacity of 6.5 GW.


Edison Press Office



Elena Distaso

T 338 2500609; elena.distaso@edison.it

Lucia Caltagirone

T 331 6283718; lucia.caltagirone@edison.it

Lorenzo Matucci

T 337 1500332; lorenzo.matucci@edison.it

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