RSE, 70 years of history in research
The current structure of RSE builds on a number of projects dating back to the aftermath of the Second World War, when Italy needed a full rebuild, a time when the Country’s energy development also started being shaped.
That’s how the CISE was born; the Centro Informazioni, Studi, Esperienze whose activities mainly focused on how to generate energy from nuclear reactions.
1956 marked the birth of CESI (the Centro Elettrotecnico Sperimentale Italiano), whose aim was to foster the creation of a unified electrical power grid in Italy by providing research projects and test facilities.
Four years later, in 1962, the freshly established Enel, whose creation was spurred by nationalization, bought the majority of CESI’s share capital. In the years that followed, Enel created its own in-house research centers, pooled under a Directorate for Studies and Research and collaborating with both CISE and CESI, thus becoming a reference center in Italy and Europe due to its predominant role in research projects targeting electrical and energy systems.
The new millennium
In the year 2000 a reform of the Italian electrical power system led CESI to incorporate all the different entities, so as to pool under one single body all the Group’s research competences and know-how and expand the range of services provided to the national and international electrical power and environmental sectors. Two years later, the Lab Headquarters of Piacenza also passed under the direction of CESI, that supplemented and enhanced the range of O&M services for heat and electricity power plants, followed suit by the Polo Idraulico e Strutturale (Structural and Hydraulics Unit), offering specialized services for hydraulic systems and related infrastructures.
In 2004, a new acquisition by Enel New HYDRO of the ISMES Business Unit broadened the offer with the specialized competencies contributed by the unit in the fields of land and infrastructure preservation against natural risks, protection of the monumental heritage, and monitoring services.
The following year, CESI RICERCA SpA was established with the aim of better organizing general interest research activities, in the spirit of the founding law of the Fund for Research into Electrical Systems, by pooling all the existing resources (400 research and technical staff and all related labs) to develop research projects funded by Italian and foreign organizations. To ensure the freshly established entity would mainly be publicly owned, ENEA later became the company’s major shareholder (51%).
The recent past
On the 29th of April, 2009 CESI RICERCA changed its name into ENEA – Ricerca sul Sistema Elettrico (also known by the shortened name of ERSE SpA). On the 15th of July, the GSE (the National grid operator) bought 49% of the company’s share capital from CESI.
The company’s mission has remained unchanged: to develop research programs in the electrical-energy sector, targeting the entire national electricity system.
On the 21st of July, 2010, the GSE, as the company’s sole shareholder, achieved full control of the company whose name was again changed into RSE SpA - Ricerca sul Sistema Energetico.