Búðarháls Power Station


Búðarháls Power Station came online on 7 March 2014 and is one of Landsvirkjun’s seven hydropower stations in the Þjórsá Area. Búðarháls Power Station is in the west of Mt. Búðarháls.

This power station is operated by two Kaplan turbines

2 x Kaplan turbines

The station is located on the Tungnaá River and takes advantage of the drop between the tail water of the Hrauneyjafoss Power Station and the Sultartangi Reservoir. The head will is 40 metres, with a harnessed discharge of 280 m3/s and an installed capacity of 95 MW. The energy generating capacity of the Station is estimated at 585 GW/h annually.

The main proposal for the Búðarháls Power Station is to build two dams to the east of Búðarháls, a short distance above its junction with the Tungnaá River and the Kaldakvísl River.

Energy from Búðarháls Power Station is sent from the generator step up transformers, located in front of the station and then underground to the Landsnet substation, located to the south of the powerhouse. It is transported from the substation, via high voltage line, eastward across Búðarháls to the Hrauneyjar line and onto the National grid.

Key numbers

  • Installed capacity

  • 2 Kaplan turbines

  • Generation capacity

    0GWh /year
  • Head

  • Maximum flow

  • Life-cycle emissions

    0g CO₂-eq/kWh

Þjórsá and Tungnaá Catchment Area

There are six hydropower stations in the catchment area of Rivers Thjórsá and Tungnaá: Búrfell, Sultartangi, Hrauneyjafoss, Vatnsfell, Sigalda and Búdarháls, with combined energy of 1040 MW. Water for all the power stations is provided by three main reservoirs, Thórisvatn, Hágöngulón and Kvíslarveita, along with smaller reservoirs connected with each station.

Lake Thórisvatn, Iceland’s largest lake, is the largest reservoir and an important part of Landsvirkjun’s utility system. All water accumulated in Kvíslarveita and Hágöngulón reservoirs runs through Lake Thórisvatn.

Lake Thórisvatn became a reservoir with the harnessing of River Thjórsá at Búrfell Mountain in 1970-1972. River Kaldakvísl was diverted into the lake at the northern edge of the lake and a controlled outflow constructed at the southern edge.

A canal was dug from the lake and a concrete gate structure built in the canal to manage the flow rate. The canal is named the Vatnsfell Canal, and carries water from Lake Thórisvatn through the Vatnsfell Station into the Krókslón Reservoir above the Sigalda Station, and from there to other stations further down in the catchment area.

Work on the Kvíslaveita Reservoir began in 1980 and was completed in 1997. Kvíslaveita is the collective name for the dams, canals, bottom outlets and gate structures that manage the flow rate from the River Thjórsá and its tributaries into Lake Thórisvatn.

The Háganga Reservoir was constructed in 1997–1999 and covers an area of 37 km2. Its purpose is to increase the efficiency of the catchment area of River Kaldakvísl. During the summer months, water accumulates in the Hágöngulón Reservoir, with very little water flowing down the Kaldakvísl riverbed.