Hydroelectric Plants in Iceland

Blanda
Location: Northwest
Operator: Landsvirkjun
Configuration: 3 X 50 MW Francis
Operation: 1991-1992
T/G supplier: Fuchunjiang, Fuji
EPC: VST, Fossvirk
Quick facts: Blanda is on the Blanda river in northern Iceland. The main reservoir is 40km northwest of Hofsjökull glacier. The underground powerhouse and related structures are 25km downstream, 40km south of Blönduós town.

Photograph courtesy of Verkis
Posted 13 Jan 2010

Blævardalsárvirkjun
Location: Westfjords
Operator: Orkubu Vestfjarda hf
Configuration: 1 X 288 kW Pelton
Operation: 1975
T/G supplier: WKV
Quick facts: This SHP had to be re-built following a generator failuer in early 2004. The station supplies electricity to Ísafjarðardjúpi and is remotely controlled from Hólmavík.

Photograph courtesy of Orkubu Vestfjarda hf
Posted 18 Aug 2013

Búðarháls
Location: South
Operator: Landsvirkjun
Configuration: 2 X 47.5 MW Francis
Operation: 2013
T/G supplier: Voith, VG Power
EPC: Mott MacDonald, Acres Intl, Rafhonnun, Istak
Quick facts: Búðarháls is in Tungnaá, in the Þjórsá-Tungnaá area in South Iceland between Sultartangi PS and Hrauneyjarfoss PS. The EIA was approved in 2001 and construction got underway at the beginning of Nov 2010. Estimated production is up to 585 GW/yr. The intake reservoir, Sporðöldulón will be created with a 2.1km log, 24m high dam over Köldukvísl, north of the confluence of Köldukvísl and Tungnaá and just below Hrauneyjarfoss. A headrace channel will run to Búðarháls, and from there, through a 4km headrace tunnel to the powerhouse. A 330m tailrace channel will run from the power house to the Sultartangalón reservoir. The project also includes a 7km, 220kW tie-line to Hrauneyjarfoss. In Apr 2011 Landsvirkjun and Landsbanki signed a $100mn bond issue to assure project funding regardless of sovereign debt ratings. In Mar 2011, a $70mn loan agreement was made with the Nordic Investment Bank and a €70mn loan agreement was made with the European Investment Bank. In Jun 2010, Landsvirkjun and Alcan signed an energy sale agreement to supply the Straumsvík aluminum smelter. Photo dates to Jul 2011.

Photograph courtesy of Landsvirkjun
Posted 10 Mar 2012

Dalsorka
Location: Westfjords
Operator: Dalsorka ehf
Configuration: 1 X 500 kW
Operation: 2002
T/G supplier: GHE
EPC: Orkuver
Quick facts: This is a community power station at Súgandafirði. It went commercial on 3 Feb 2002.

Photograph courtesy of Orkuver ehf
Posted 28 Aug 2010

Djúpadalsvirkjun
Location: Northeast
Operator: Nordurorka hf
Configuration: 1 X 1.8 MW, 1 X 900 kW
Operation: 2005
T/G supplier: ??
EPC: Mannvit

Photograph courtesy of Norduroka hf
Posted 28 Aug 2010

Fossvatn
Location: Westfjords
Operator: Orkubu Vestfjarda hf
Configuration: 1 X 640 kW
Operation: 1937
T/G supplier: ??
EPC: Skansa
Quick facts: This plant was first discussed around 1920 and detailed plans were submitted to local authorities at the end of 1928 to build a plant below Foss Lake. It took almost 10 more years, but finally financing agreements were reached with Swedish companies and construction began in 1936.

Photograph courtesy of Orkubu Vestfjarda hf
Posted 18 Aug 2013

Glerárvirkjun
Location: Northeast
Operator: Nordurorka hf
Configuration: 1 X 290 kW
Operation: 2005
T/G supplier: ??
Quick facts: This SHP was rebuilt 45yrs after first going online.

Photograph courtesy of Norduroka hf
Posted 28 Aug 2010

Fljótsdalur
Location: Iceland
Operator: Landsvirkjun
Configuration: 6 X 115 MW Francis
Operation: 2007-2008
T/G supplier: VA TECH
EPC: VST, Mott, Hochtief, Pihl & Son, Istak, Harza, Electrowatt, Impregilo, Íslenskir aðalverktakar
Quick facts: This is the largest power plant in Iceland and was one of Europe's biggest engineering and construction efforts in years. The 193m high, 730m long concrete-faced rock fill dam shown is the largest of three dams on the Jökulsá á Dal River and is the highest of its kind in Europe. The total length of the tunnels involved in the Kárahnjúkar project is about 73km. The Fljótsdalur powerhuse is situated inside Valþjófsstaðarfjall at the bottom of 600m tunnels. Work began in 2002. Annual production is expected to be about 4,600 GWh.

Photograph courtesy of Landsvirkjun
Posted 17 Sep 2008

Hrauneyjafoss
Location: South
Operator: Landsvirkjun
Configuration: 3 X 70 MW Francis
Operation: 1981
T/G supplier: Nohab, Asea
EPC: Harza, VST, Fossvirk
Quick facts: This power station is on the Tungnaa River. The site is connected at 220kV to Sigalda and Sultartangi. Construction started in 1977.

Photograph courtesy of Landsvirkjun
Posted 5 Feb 2005

Irafoss
Location: South
Operator: Landsvirkjun
Configuration: 2 X 15.5 MW, 1 X 16.7 MW Francis
Operation: 1953-1963
T/G supplier: Tampella, Karlstad. WHC, Asea
Quick facts: This plant harnesses two waterfalls, Irafoss and Kistufoss, in the lower Sog River system.

Photograph courtesy of Landsvirkjun
Posted 5 Feb 2005

Koltunguvirkjun
Location: South
Operator: Eyrarbuio ehf
Configuration: 1 X 16 kW
Operation: 1928
T/G supplier: ??
Quick facts: This SHP is on the Thorvaldseyri farm holding, which was started up in 1896. The SHP was built by Ólafur Pálsson who moved to the farm in 1906. The site is about 2km from the main farmhouse. The original 11-kW unit was ran for 50yrs with only minor repairs.

Photograph courtesy of Eyrarbuio ehf
Posted 18 Nov 2012

Lagarfoss
Location: East
Operator: Rarik
Configuration: 1 X 7.5 MW, 1 X 20 MW Kaplan
Operation: 1975-2007
T/G supplier: CKD, Litostroj, Koncar
EPC: VST, Norauverk
Quick facts: Lagarfoss is a low-head, run-of-river SHP in east Iceland on the glacial river Lagarfljót flowing from Vatnajökull glacier. The station was extended from 2005-2007 to take advantage of additional flows after the Kárahnjúkar plant went into operation.

Photograph courtesy of Verkis
Posted 13 Jan 2010

Laxá-I
Location: Northeast
Operator: Landsvirkjun
Configuration: 2 X 2.5-MW Francis
Operation: 1939-1944
T/G supplier: Kvaerner Brug, Titan, Leffel, Westinghouse
EPC: Árni Pálsson, Højgaard og Schultz
Quick facts: Laxá-I is the oldest power plant on the River Laxá. A dam at the top of the canyon diverts water through an underground tunnel and then through a 670m channel to the power station.

Photograph courtesy of Landsvirkjun
Posted 14 Nov 2012

Laxá-II
Location: Northeast
Operator: Landsvirkjun
Configuration: 1 X 9-MW Francis
Operation: 1953
T/G supplier: Leffel, Westinghouse
EPC: Verkfræðistofa Sigurðar Thoroddsen hf, Stoð hf
Quick facts: For Laxá-II, the river was dammed 300m downstream of Laxá-I, diverting the water 380m to the power station via a penstock and a surge tank.

Photograph courtesy of Landsvirkjun
Posted 14 Nov 2012

Laxá-III
Location: Northeast
Operator: Landsvirkjun
Configuration: 1 X 13.5-MW Francis
Operation: 1973
T/G supplier: Escher Wyss, ASEA
EPC: Verkfræðistofa Sigurðar Thoroddsen hf, Norðurverk haf
Quick facts: Plans for a 50-MW power station Laxá-II were modified after public protests overlarge dam construction. In the end, a smaller single turbine was installed and further expansion plans were terminated.

Photograph courtesy of Landsvirkjun
Posted 14 Nov 2012

Ljosafoss
Location: South
Operator: Landsvirkjun
Configuration: 2 X 4.4 MW, 1 X 5.8 MW Francis
Operation: 1937-1944
T/G supplier: Karlstad, Asea, SMS, GE
Quick facts: Ljosafoss was the first power station on the Sog River east of the mountains separating Reykjavik from Iceland's southern lowlands.

Photograph courtesy of Landsvirkjun
Posted 8 Mar 2003

Mjólkárvirkjun
Location: Westfjords
Operator: Orkubu Vestfjarda hf
Configuration: 1 X 2.7 MW, 1 X 5.7 MW Pelton
Operation: 1956-1975
T/G supplier: CKD, Litostroj, Skoda, Koncar
EPC: Ingra dd
Quick facts: The two sets at Mjolka comprise the largest power station in the Westfjords. Construction on the first unit began in 1956 and it utilizes water from Borgarhvilft giving a head of 210m. The second set uses water from Lake Langvatn on the Glámuhálendinu and this gives an effectve head of 490m. Construction on the new waterworks began in 1971, and the new unit came online in 1975. It was put in the existing powerhouse, which was lengthened by 9m. The project was talen over by newly-formed Orkubu Vestfjarda in Jan 1978. Output is about 54 GWh/yr.

Photograph courtesy of www.visir.i
Posted 18 Aug 2013

Mýrarárvirkjun
Location: Westfjords
Operator: Orkubu Vestfjarda hf
Configuration: 1 X 60 kW
Operation: 1956-1975
T/G supplier: ??
Quick facts: This is the smallest hydro station of Orkubu Vestfjard. Local farmers began working on the project in 1961 and by 1963, a local cooperative had been founded to build the SHP. The project commissioned on 29 Oct 1965. It is connected to local users and by a 3km submarine cable to Æðey Island.

Photograph courtesy of Orkubu Vestfjarda hf
Posted 18 Aug 2013

Reiðhjallavirkjun
Location: Westfjords
Operator: Orkubu Vestfjarda hf
Configuration: 1 X 514 kW Pelton
Operation: 1958
T/G supplier: WKV, Siemens
EPC: Verkfraedistofa Sigurda Thoraddsen hf
Quick facts: This SHP was built to take advantage of a dam built in 1929. Construction began in Jun 1956 and the plant went into operation on 8 Mar 1958. The unit was rebuilt in 1990/91 after a 1989 generator failure.

Photograph courtesy of Orkubu Vestfjarda hf
Posted 18 Aug 2013

Sigalda
Location: South
Operator: Landsvirkjun
Configuration: 3 X 50.5 MW Francis
Operation: 1977-1978
T/G supplier: Kharkov, Electrosila
EPC: Virkhir, Electrowatt, Energoprojekt
Quick facts: Sigalda on the Tungnaa River was Iceland's second major hydro plant. Construction started in 1973. A tailrace canal leads from the partially underground powerhouse to Hrauneyjafoss reservoir. Sigalda is linked by 220kV transmission lines to the Sultartangi, Hrauneyjafoss and Vatnsfell stations, and a 132kV line to the southeast.

Photograph courtesy of Landsvirkjun
Posted 5 Feb 2005

Steingrimsstod
Location: South
Operator: Landsvirkjun
Configuration: 2 X 13.5 MW Kaplan
Operation: 1959
T/G supplier: Maier, Asea
Quick facts: Steingrimsstod harnesses a 20.5m head where the Upper Sog drains from Lake Thingvallavatn into Lake Ulfljotsvatn. From a dam on Lake Thingvallavatn, a tunnel runs through Drattarhlid into an open-air surge tank above the powerhouse. A shaft leads from the surge tank to the turbines.

Photograph courtesy of Landsvirkjun
Posted 5 Feb 2005

Sultartangi
Location: South
Operator: Landsvirkjun
Configuration: 2 X 60 MW Francis
Operation: 2000
T/G supplier: Sulzer, Skoda
Quick facts: Sultartangi is the fifth large-scale power station built by Landsvirkjun in Iceland. Construction began in 1997 and the station went online in January 2000. It utilizes water from a reservoir formed when the rivers Thjorsa and Tungna were dammed by a 6,100m earthen dam, the longest in Iceland. A headrace tunnel through Mt Sandafell empties into a surge basin, at the end of which is the powerhouse intake.

Photograph copyright by and courtesy of VA TECH
Posted 24 May 2003

Threva Rebuild
Location: Westfjords
Operator: Orkubu Vestfjarda hf
Configuration: 1 X 2.2 MW Francis
Operation: 1957-2001
T/G supplier:VA TECH, VEM
EPC: VST, Verkis
Quick facts: Planning for this plant at Steingrímsfjörðurbegan around 1950 and the first 560-kW machine went online in 1954. This had a turbine from Dress & Co and a Titan generator. The genrator was replaced with a Siemens machine in 1995 . In 1957, planning began for a second T/G set and the turbine was ordered from CKD along with a Skoda generator. These were installed in 1963. Finally, new dam construction allowed for increased water flows and modifications were made to install a single larger machine rather than the two previouly in place. The current 2.2-MW machine was commissioned in 2001.

Photograph courtesy of Verkis
Posted 13 Jan 2010

Tungudalsvirkjun
Location: Westfjords
Operator: Orkubu Vestfjarda hf
Configuration: 1 X 1 MW Francis
Operation: 2006
T/G supplier: VA TECH
EPC: VST
Quick facts: This SHP was first considered in 1993 to use water from the West Fjords tunnel. Feasibility studies were prepared in 2004 and approval was obtained from the local municipality in 2005. Construction began in mid year and was completd about 2yrs later. The project was dedicated on 26 Aug 2007.

Photograph courtesy of www.visir.is
Posted 18 Aug 2013

 

 
Vatnsfell
Location: South
Operator: Landsvirkjun
Configuration: 2 X 45 MW Francis
Operation: 2001
T/G supplier: CGE
EPC: Hönnun, VST, Rafhönnun, Lahmeyer, Slenskir Adalverktakar, Arnarfell
Quick facts: Construction began at Vatnsfell Station in June 1999 and the plant was finished in just over two years. A 730m long, 30m high dam was built across the diversion canal between Lake Thórisvatn and the Sigalda reservoir Krókslón. Water from a small intake reservoir is carried to the powerhouse. Vatnsfell only produces electricity in the winter.

Photograph courtesy of Landsvirkjun
Posted 5 Feb 2005

Abbreviations

Data: industcards, Platts UDI World Electric Power Plants Data Base

Updated 18-Aug-2013

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