Landsvirkjun has decided to renew the turbines in the old Bjarnarflag Geothermal Station in order to ensure its continued operation. A call for tenders will be advertised tomorrow, with the work itself scheduled for the summer of 2017.
Bjarnarflag has a long history of geothermal power generation. The beginning of the current generation can be traced back to 1963, when the first borehole was drilled and the company Léttsteypan began utilising geothermal energy from Bjarnarflag to cure concrete and prefabricated concrete components. Over the next years, further boreholes were drilled in conjunction with the development of a nearby diatomite plant, which began operating in 1967 but has now been decommissioned.
The old Geothermal Station at Bjarnarflag began producing electricity in 1969, making it Iceland's oldest geothermal station. The turbines in the Station were manufactured by British-Thomson Houston (BTH) and were previously used in a sugar refinery in the United Kingdom from 1934. The old turbines have been deteriorating significantly in recent years and the point has been reached where the station now produces little electricity and working on the turbines may present hazards. The station no longer plays a significant role in Iceland’s power generation, but it remains important for the local area around Lake Myvatn. It produces all the energy that the area needs, and in addition the local heating utility, Hitaveita Skútustaðahrepps, obtains heat from the station and nature baths at Lake Myvatn use its excess water.
There will be no disruptions in the delivery of electricity as a result of the renovation work.