Projects completed this year:
Landscaping and external appearance of structures
Procedures relating to landscaping and the external appearance of Company structures were reviewed and improved. A policy was developed on the issue as well as proposals for its implementation by defining procedures for landscaping and the layout of the design of new power stations, amongst other things. The most suitable methodology for landscape analysis was considered as well as methods that Landsvirkjun could use to support the eco-design of its new power station structures. Work also began on an assessment of Company structures.
Environmental monitoring of the Fljótsdalur Hydropower Station (Kárahnjúkar)
In 2017, ten years will have passed since the Fljótsdalur Hydropower Station began operations and many projects related to environmental monitoring and the operation of the facility will therefore need to be assessed. This includes the study of changes to the sedimentation and river bed materials carried by glacial rivers, harnessed for the operation of the station. The study concluded with a doctoral thesis defence which was supported by funding from Landsvirkjun. An open meeting was held in Egilsstaðir where employees of the East Iceland Nature Research Centre, the Icelandic Institute of Natural History and the Engineering Research Institute at the University of Iceland presented the results of research conducted on the reindeer population during the operational period of the Fljótsdalur Station. These were compared with results from the period before operations began.
Over 25 thousand salmon fry were released into a special release pond in the Uppsala River in collaboration with the Lagarfljót angling society. The salmon fry were sourced from breeding fish in the Lagarfljót and Jökla Rivers, collected in the autumn of 2014. The fry migrated from the pond at the end of June and their progress will be monitored next summer.
Vegetation was re-assessed and bird monitoring was conducted. Stone defences were constructed in the Hólmatunga area as well as an erosion barrier by Breiðavað and bank protection for the land in Egilstaðir.
Fish and hydropower stations
An open meeting was held in collaboration with the Institute of Freshwater Fisheries where the Institute‘s employees presented river research, pertaining to hydropower stations. The results showed that the impact on rivers has been multifaceted. Angling stock has decreased in the Lagarfljót River and the Sog power stations have had a negative impact on trout stocks. However, the salmon population in the Þjórsá River has increased, salmon angling has increased in the Blanda River and angling began in the Jökla River after the river was harnessed.
Landsvirkjun carries out extensive monitoring and detailed research within the areas affected by its operations. The Company also conducts extensive research on the environmental impact of potential power projects. The objective is to assess the environmental feasibility of these future projects.
The research is carried out in cooperation with the various universities, research institutes and independent specialists. An overview of the main research conducted by the Company in 2016, on the natural environment and effects on the physical landscape, can be accessed here: