Iceland generates almost 100% of its electricity from renewable energy resources and Landsvirkjun generates 75% of this electricity.
We operate 15 hydropower stations, three geothermal power stations and two wind turbines in five areas of operation, all over Iceland. The Búrfell Hydropower Station II is the 15th hydropower station to join Landsvirkjun’s fleet. The station came online in the beginning of July in 2018.
We believe in an integrated approach where prudence, reliability and the harmony of operations with the environment and society are fundamental to our operations.
Hydropower: 13.199 GWh
The total energy generation of Landsvirkjun’s hydropower stations was approx. 13,199 GWh in 2018, compared with 13,459 GWh in the previous year.
Landsvirkjun operates 15 hydropower stations all over Iceland, divided into 4 areas of operation.
There are 7 power stations in the Þjórsá area, with a total of 19 generating units and a number of waterway structures. The area spans from the Hofsjökull Glacier and down to the Búrfell Hydropower Station.
There are 3 power stations in the Sog area with a total of 8 generating units and several waterway structures by the Þingvallavatn Lake and Úlfljótsvatn Lake.
14,195 GWh of electrical energy was fed into the Landsnet transmission grid by Landsvirkjun in 2018 - an increase of 2.1% when compared with the previous year.
The Laxá Power Stations are located in the Blanda area. There are three stations in the area, with five turbines and the waterway at the Blanda Hydropower Station spans a length of 25 km, from the Reftjarnarbungu and down to the Gilsá River
The fourth operational area is the Fljótsdalur Hydropower station, the largest hydropower station in the country, with 6 generating units and extensive waterway structures including tunnels measuring 70 km in length. The Station generated 4,928 GWh this year, or approximately 34% of Landsvirkjun's total generation.
Detailed information on the water balance can be found in the chapter on Natural Resources
Landsvirkjun generates 92% of its energy using hydropower and 8% using geothermal energy
Geothermal energy: 1.132 GWh
The total energy generation of Landsvirkjun’s geothermal power stations was 1,132 GWh in 2018, compared with 565 GWh in 2017.
The Þeistareykir Geothermal Station contributed 672 GWh of this energy. The first turbine came online on the 14th of April and operations have so far been successful.
We are committed to utilising geothermal energy in a sustainable and responsible manner. An integral part of this approach is maintaining the balance between the utilisation and the natural renewal of the geothermal reservoir. Separated hot water, which is not utilised for electricity production is injected back into the geothermal reservoir.
Landsvirkjun operates three geothermal power stations at Krafla, Þeistareykir and Bjarnarflag with a total of 5 generating units.
Wind power: 3,5 GWh
Landsvirkjun operates two wind turbines for research purposes in an area called Hafið just to the north of the Búrfell Hydropower Station. Each turbine has an installed capacity of 0.9 MW. The turbines generated 3.5 GWh this year.
Krafla celebrates 40 years of operations
The Krafla Geothermal Power Station celebrated 40 years of operations this year. The station initially began operations in August 1977, but a steam shortage created delays and the station was not fully commissioned until February 1978. Steam extraction and drilling were affected by seismic activity and nine consecutive volcanic eruptions, between 1975 and 1984.
Landsvirkjun acquired Krafla from the Icelandic State in 1985. Landsvirkjun decided to introduce a second unit at the station in 1996 to extract more steam. New drilling methods, such as directional drilling, enabled the company to drill new wells and repair older ones.
Assessment of Fljótsdalur Hydropower Station’s operations
The results of an assessment, based on the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP), were published this year.
The results revealed that the operation of the station is considered outstanding in terms of the sustainable use of hydropower, and many of the work procedures are considered to be “best available practice” according to the Protocol. The extensive assessment included a detailed analysis of 17 categories relating to the operation of the Station and reflect how well operations comply with the international criteria for sustainable development.
The station met the requirements for best possible practice (grade 5) in 11 categories out of the 17 that were assessed. The station meets requirements for good practice (grade 4) in four categories. Two categories were not included in the assessment.
The assessment can be accessed here
More info on the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, HSAP:
Power station operations
The operation of Landsvirkjun’s power stations was successful throughout the year.
There were 95 unforeseen interruptions in 2018, compared with 82 in the previous year.
Landsvirkjun's goal is to ensure that generating units in the power stations are available 99% of the year, not accounting for routine maintenance periods. This goal was achieved this year, as units were available 99.7% of the time compared with 99.8% in the previous year.
Landsvirkjun operates in accordance with an integrated, certified Quality Management and Environmental Safety Management System, based on ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and the Internal Electrical Safety Operation System (RÖSK), which fulfils the criteria set out by the Iceland Construction Authority on electrical safety issues. Landsvirkjun has been certified as a producer of green electricity by the German company TÜV SÜD who specialise in the certification of green electricity. In addition, the Company’s IT division’s safety management system is certified in accordance with ISO 27001.
We carried out 72 investment and renovation projects in our power stations in 2018.
Refurbishment work was carried out on Unit 6 at the Búrfell Hydropower Station. Heavy loading of our generating system has made it difficult to find opportunities for refurbishment outages in the Búrfell Station, and necessary maintenance work has accumulated.
The construction of the new Búrfell Hydropower Station II relieved this pressure and refurbishment work on the older station can now be carried out. The annual utilisation ratio of the installed capacity of the old station has often exceeded 95%, which is unique for this type of hydropower station.
Refurbishments carried out in Búrfell Station
Lean Management was implemented in all of Landsvirkjun's power stations in 2018.
Lean management is a methodology designed to eliminate any waste of effort, time or funds by identifying the various steps in a business process and reviewing, streamlining and cutting out steps that do not create value.
Continuous improvement and small-scale improvements are a main focus and employees are encouraged to identify problem areas and share their ideas.