Improving natural resource utilisation
Traditional methods of geothermal electrical energy generation fail to fully utilise thermal energy and other various, extracted materials. The utilisation of these source streams creates a positive synergy with other businesses by improving the utilisation of energy resources, reducing environmental impact and achieving greater operational efficiency.
Landsvirkjun’s geothermal power stations are located in the Northeast of Iceland. The new innovation partnership ‘Eimur’ was launched in 2016 to improve the efficient utilisation of energy and to increase the sustainability of communities within the area. The cooperation declaration was signed at the establishment meeting at Hof in Akureyri on Thursday the 9th of June.
The innovation partnership and sponsors of the project include Landsvirkjun, Norðurorka (Utility Company), Húsavík Energy and an association of the municipalities in Northeast Iceland (Eyþing). The project will run for three years and the sponsors have made an initial contribution of 100 million ISK. Iceland Geothermal (cluster) and the Iceland Tourism Cluster are also members of the project.
The core focus of Eimur is to increase the sustainability of local communities by improving the efficient utilisation of energy and by increasing expertise on the interaction between society, the environment, natural resources and the economy. The project will hopefully lay the foundation for diverse innovation and subsequently create local employment opportunities. The project aims to secure the cooperation of the tourism industry, all types of manufacturing, industry and researchers (including researchers from the academic community).
Hörður Arnarson, Landsvirkjun‘s CEO signs the declaration alongside Arnór Benónýsson, Deputy Chairman of Eyþing, Erna Björnsdóttir, Chairman of the Board at Húsavík Energy and Helgi Jóhannesson, CEO at Norðurorka.
The Iceland Deep Drilling Project (IDDP)
The Iceland Deep Drilling Project is an international research project that aims to drill deeper into the earth than ever before. The aim of the project is to deliver up to ten times more energy from each well than that provided by conventional wells. Deep drilling involves drilling deep into the roots of geothermal systems in geothermal areas where cooling magma intrusions are present at a depth of several kilometres below the surface.
IDDP is a collaborative project, established by Landsvirkjun, Reykjavik Energy (OR) and HS Orka, and later joined by Statoil (Norway), and Alcoa (US). The research project has been awarded funding from various groups including the National Science Foundation (US) and the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICSDP).
The IDDP-1 well in Krafla was the first well to be drilled. The initial hopes of reaching 4500 m were abandoned when magma was encountered at a depth of 2100 m and drilling was halted as a result in 2009. The well was intermittently active but was shut down in 2012. Landsvirkjun employed a number of scientists to assess the well’s capacity. More information can be accessed here.
The project is still underway and a new well has been drilled in the Reykjanes Peninsula at the HS Orka site. More information on the progress of the project can be accessed here on the project website.
Mývatn Nature Baths
Many of the most frequented tourist destinations in the country are based around the by-products of energy generation. This includes the Mývatn Nature Baths. The water that flows into the lagoon is in fact excess water from the Bjarnarflag Geothermal Power Station nearby and the chemical composition of the water makes it particularly suitable for bathing.
The baths opened in 2004 and have since then welcomed an ever growing number of local and international tourists who have enjoyed the lagoon and steam baths, set in the unique surroundings of the Mývatn area and built directly on top of the geothermal area.
Support for the research community
Landsvirkjun believes in supporting and promoting innovation and development in the research community. The Company sponsors a number of parties within the academic community to study and work within the field of renewable energy and environmental research.
Landsvirkjun‘s Energy Research Fund provides annual grants to support university students, research projects, institutions, companies and individuals involved in strengthening research within the field of energy and environmental studies. In 2016, Landsvirkjun awarded 56 million ISK through the fund.
Cooperation with the academic community
Landsvirkjun has focused on cooperation with the academic community for many years in order to support increased expertise in the field of renewable energy. In 2013, Landsvirkjun, Reykjavik University and the University of Iceland joined forces to promote studies and research in geochemistry, electrical engineering and other fields related to renewable energy. Landsvirkjun is supporting the partnership by donating 80 million ISK to the two universities until 2018.
Landsvirkjun signed a cooperation agreement with the Institute of Economic Studies. The agreement was active from 2013-2016 and promoted research related to the commercial and economic aspects of energy production in order to increase expertise on its impact on the Icelandic economy.
Startup Energy Reykjavik
Startup Energy Reykjavík (SER) is a business accelerator program which was established in December 2013, and has been held every year since. Landsvirkjun’s partners in the project include Arion Bank, GEORG and Innovation Center Iceland and the program is facilitated by Icelandic Startups and Iceland Geothermal (cluster).