Algae production with geothermal utilisation project kicked off in Northern Iceland

Geothermal area at Lake Myvatn, Iceland (source: flickr/ Bill Ward, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 31 Oct 2020

Iceland's national power company and local comany MýSköpun ehf. have signed an agreement on research, cultivation, development and production of algae in Landsvirkjun's geothermal operations in the North of Iceland.

As announced this week, Icelandic national power company Landsvirkjun and MýSköpun ehf. have signed an agreement on research, cultivation, development and production of algae in Landsvirkjun’s operations in the North. For the beginning, the operation will be based in an office building at Lake Mývatn in the North of Iceland.

The project will be assessing the feasibility of researched and cultivated algae of MýSköpun ehf.. The algae which i.a. can be found in lake Mývatn could be used to subsequently develop, manufacture and market valuable consumer products. e.g. as a spiral line. Multi-utilization of geothermal energy will be considered, as currents from geothermal power plants, e.g. electricity, hot water, cold water and natural gases are used in the cultivation.

The aim of the agreement is to increase value creation from the materials generated by Landsvirkjun’s energy production. The project thus improves the utilization of resources and creates opportunities for the development and innovation of the suburban community.

MýSköpun ehf. is an innovation company in the Mývatn county which is intended to increase innovation and business development in the area. MýSköpun’s goal is to be a leader in the production of algae biomaterials, with multiple utilization of geothermal energy in the forefront and utilization of additional products created during the production process. The cultivation and utilization of algae has increasingly attracted interest due to the diverse biomaterials they produce and their utilization in various commercial products. When we talk about organic substances, we mean substances such as fatty acids, proteins, polysaccharides, minerals, carotene and other colorings, as well as polyphenols.

Hjörleifur Einarsson, Chairman of the Board of MýSköpun: The agreement is very important for MýSköpun and enables us to increase the company’s production capacity and move us from the laboratory to experimental production. The project has been under development for several years. Now let us test whether the results that have already been achieved live up to the expectations we have had from the beginning, i.e. that the natural resources can be the basis for sustainable cultivation of algae from the Mývatn area. Our co-operation with Landsvirkjun has been invaluable in recent years and we expect the agreement to be another step in the direction of a joint journey. ”

Kristín Linda Árnadóttir, Deputy CEO of Landsvirkjun: “At Landsvirkjun, we are very pleased that the company can contribute to innovation and business development in the company’s operating areas. There is a great mind in people in Mývatnssveit and I am convinced that that mind carries the locals half way. The power and energy will no doubt carry it to the end. I look forward to following that journey. ”

Source: Landsvirkjun