Five years have passed since the Fljótsdalur Hydropower Station, at Kárahnjukur came on-line. The station became officially operational on the 30th of November in 2007 and the occasion was marked by a ceremony held both in Fljótsdal and Reykjavík.
The operation of the station has been a success story from the start and power generation has fulfilled original expectations. The installed capacity of the station is 690MW.
The station has a total of 6 Francis turbines and each one has rotated for a total of 42, 500 hours since operations began. The average amount of power generated during this period has been measured at 541 MW and over 23.7 TWh. At its highest point, power generation has reached 653 MW.
Water is the single most important factor in facilitating power generation at the station and water levels in the Hálslón Reservoir have fluctuated during these first few years of operation. The reservoir fills up in early autumn, between August and October and when it reaches 625 metres above sea level it is diverted via the spillway, into a channel to the Jökulsár River, where it becomes the waterfall Hverfandi. Hverfandi has, at times become more powerful than Dettifoss, one of Europe’s most powerful waterfalls, reaching a flow rate of 550 m3/s.
Since construction began on the Fljótsdalur Hydropower Station Landsvirkjun has opened its doors to a number of guests visiting the area, since 2004. The Visitor Centre in Végarður offers an exhibition on the operation of the station, providing information on power generation in general and on the area surrounding the site. Over 80,000 guests have visited the centre since it opened.
Georg Þór Pálsson has been the Station Manager of the Fljótsdalur Hydropower Station since it began operation. Commenting on the 5 year anniversary he said “The last five years have been enjoyable and the time has passed quickly. There has been much to consider and a number of demanding challenges, especially during the first year of operation. The operation of the station has been successful from the start and according to schedule. I believe this to be a result of the strong team ethic here in the east and at the Landsvirkjun Headquarters.”