The second 45 MW turbine came online at Þeistareykir in the spring of 2018

The main goal of the Þeistareykir Project has always been to build a cost-effective and reliable power station working in harmony with its environment.

The station generally produces 90 MW of energy which is mainly used to supply PCC's silicon metal plant at Bakki, as well as increasing the operational security of the energy system in North Iceland. A team of 5 to 7 people is responsible for the daily operations of the station. The reliability of the station has from the outset been comparable to the most efficient geothermal stations in Iceland. The project was completed on budget and on time.


Þeistareykir –construction projects this year


Construction was completed this year

Landsvirkjun decided that all finishing work, both inside and out, was to be completed before the station became operational.

We were relieved to see that the powerhouse was ready for the winter ahead, with an effective snow melting system, asphalt and paving. Landscaping and sowing projects were completed in areas surrounding the well platforms and mines and grazing land was reclaimed to replace land that was lost during construction.

Turbine testing was completed in the first half of the year and trial operations continued into the autumn. The energy division took over the operation of the station on the 1st of October when the station began official operations. All equipment is fully functional and disruptions are few.

Finishing work was the main focus during the summer of 2018. Landscaping and finishing work have been completed in phases, alongside construction since the project began.


A long period of well executed preparation work

Preparation for the Þeistareykir Geothermal Power Station began decades ago when local residents took the initiative to utilise the area. However, the history of the Þeistareykir project itself dates back to 1999, when Þeistareykir ehf was established.


Monitoring and mitigation measures

The unique nature of the Þeistareykir area was a main consideration during the execution of all preparation and construction work and an emphasis was placed on environmental matters.

Regular monitoring has been conducted on environmental aspects since 2012. The objective of regular monitoring is to recognise the baseline for environmental aspects before operations begin and to subsequently monitor these aspects during the operational period. The results can be accessed on the project website as well as a number of presentation videos for environmental monitoring in Landsvirkjun’s geothermal areas. The results can also be accessed in the Company’s Green Accounts.

Numerous projects relating to the environment were carried out this year, including land reclamation which has been underway since 2013. A total of approx. 160 hectares of land were re-vegetated to replace land submerged by the first phase of construction.

Approximately 212 tonnes of fertiliser and approx. 10 tonnes of seed have been distributed so far and approx. 136 thousand plants have been planted.

Landsvirkjun places an emphasis on executing projects responsibly and with respect for the environment. This includes the closure of material extraction mines as the project progresses. Only active material extraction sites remain open.

Landsvirkjun ensures that all project contractors comply with the Company's environmental policy and operate in accordance with the relevant licenses and project requirements. Landsvirkjun’s Environmental Policy offers a framework of the Company’s internal and external requirements. This information is provided during the tendering process and is part of any contract reached between Landsvirkjun and hired contractors.

The Environment Agency has conducted environmental inspections through the construction period with regular visits to the area.


Northeastern Sustainability Initiative

A so-called sustainability project was launched alongside the development of the Þeistareykir Geothermal Power Station which aims to monitor the impact of construction and the operation of the power station on the development of social and economic factors in the local community.

This is a joint venture between Landsvirkjun and Landsnet as well as various companies, municipalities and other stakeholders, whose main objective is to scientifically assess these impacts and to use the information as a basis for the preparation and decision making process for comparable projects.

The project is run by the Húsavík Academic Center (HAC) and the initial results are already available. See the project's website for more information.

More on the North-Eastern Sustainability Initiative 


Artwork at Þeistareykir

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Landsvirkjun decided to launch a contest for artwork in the vicinity of the Þeistareykir Geothermal Power Station, in collaboration with the Icelandic Design Center.  Artists were asked to create a piece in harmony with the surroundings to add to the visitor‘s experience of the area

The architect Jón Grétar Ólafsson was awarded the first prize for his piece “Römmuð sýn” on the 9th of October, 2018. An exhibition of the four short-listed candidates was held at the Icelandic Museum of Design and Applied Arts between the 10 and 14th of October. The pieces were also displayed at the museum in Húsavík from the 27th of October until the end of the year.


First station to be assessed according to the Geothermal Sustainability Assessment Protocol (GSAP)

The Þeistareykir Geothermal Power Station is the first station to be assessed according to the Geothermal Sustainability Assessment Protocol (GSAP) which is being developed in cooperation with the National Energy Authority, Landsvirkjun, OR, HS Orka and the Environment Agency of Iceland.

The preparation stage for the Þeistareykir Geothermal Power Station has mostly been successful and in accordance with the principles of sustainable development.

Of the 17 indicators evaluated, 11 received the highest achievable score or "proven best practice". The project is therefore considered exemplary in areas such as communication and consultation with stakeholders and the utilisation of the geothermal resource.


An emphasis on safety

Safety is a priority at Landsvirkjun, both in the operation of its facilities and in the construction of new power stations.

Landsvirkjun's policy is to achieve an accident-free workplace and positive work environment. Landsvirkjun works according to a so-called zero-accident policy, the basis of which is to develop a safety culture amongst employees and therefore actively prevent accidents.

An effective zero-accident policy is achieved by employee involvement in the workplace, adherence to the policy and putting individual safety and the safety of others first. All new on-site employees attend an HSE induction course. The course was attended by a total of 235 individuals in 2018. A total of 463 thousand work hours have been completed on the Þeistareykir project this year and a total of 1,045,000 work hours have been completed by contractors since construction began on the powerhouse.

Landsvirkjun takes all accidents, near accidents and incidents that occur in the workplace, very seriously. We are committed to managing and responding to suggestions and comments relating to safety and environmental issues. The objective is to improve work procedures, creating a safer environment for our employees and to respect the environment.


Designers and contractors

The partnership between Mannvit and Verkís is responsible for design and consultation work on the Þeistareykir project, assisted by Tark Architects, Landslag and Johann Indridason Engineers.

Various contractors were involved in the project:

  • LNS Saga (from 2017 Munck Íslandi) — A contractor working on steam supply and the power house
  • Jarðboranir ehf. — Drilling of production wells
  • Fuji Electric / Balcke-Dürr — Production and installation of machinery and cooling towers
  • ABB — Production and installation of control systems
  • Tamini — Production of generators
  • Rafeyri — Station services and auxiliary systems
  • Vélsmiðjan Héðinn — Production of separators
  • G. Hjálmarsson - Groundwork on the powerhouse foundation
  • Þ.S. verktakar - Water supply system
  • Rafeyri – Electrical equipment
  • The road contractors Nesey, Höfðavélar, Ístrukkur, Jón Ingi and Árni Helgason were responsible for construction.
  • G. Hjálmarsson was responsible for ground preparation work and Þ.S. contractors constructed the water supply system for the power station.
  • Landsvirkjun also sought the expertise of various local contractors who were an integral part of the project’s success.