Local community in Iceland excited for new small-scale geothermal power project

Local community in Iceland excited for new small-scale geothermal power project Geothermal hot springs in Flúðir, Iceland (source: flickr/ Alan Moore, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 18 Jun 2018

The local community of Hrunamannahreppur is excited for a new small-scale low-heat geothermal power project that will be kicked of later this month in Iceland, tapping into a geothermal resource so far only used for district heating.

As reported locally, there is a great deal of excitement in the local community of Hrunamannahreppi in Iceland for a new project that is about producing electricity from a large geothermal well. The company Varmaorka, which is currently working on the project in cooperation with local residents, plans to construct and operate small-scale geothermal power plants in several locations in Iceland.

The well on site gives water at a temperature of 116°C with an output of 45 l/ s. Now it is time to capture energy from the excess heat of the well and produce electricity. The project is a joint effort by local energy company called Flúðaorka and Varmaorka.

“We are talking about the production of low-temperature geothermal energy, which is a novelty in Iceland, as most of the geothermal energy used so far has been high-heat resources, as most people know. Now, there is the opportunity to produce electricity locally, that I think many people have been waiting for.

“We are taking the top part of the heat, producing electricity before it goes to the district heating system. There is an opportunity that I think few in Iceland have realized is possible. This is being done for the first time, “says Ragnar Saer Ragnarsson, Managing Director of Varmaorka, who is working on the project in collaboration with Flúðaorka and the local municipality of Hrunamannahrepp.

But why has not this been done long ago?

“This technology did not exist. We are working with Swedish company Climeon, that produces hardware that makes it possible, and it is starting here locally, “says Ragnar.

There is a lot of excitement and excitement for local residents because of the fact that there is plenty of hot water in the municipality.

“We are selling the water to Flúdaorka and naturally create income. So, hopefully, this is the first step towards seeing more electricity in the municipality, perhaps even for the entire municipality. This is a very fun technology and it’s great that it’s possible to use it here, “says Halldóra Hjörleifsdóttir, local councelor. It is hoped that the electricity production will start in the fall, with initially be sold to RARIK (Iceland State Electricity), a state-owned company owning and operating, heating and power plants in Iceland.