No real disruption of operation after fire at Hellisheidi geothermal power plant

No real disruption of operation after fire at Hellisheidi geothermal power plant Hellisheidi geothermal power plant of Reykjavik Energy, Iceland (source: flickr/ thinkgeoenergy, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 13 Jan 2018

Following a fire at the Hellisheidi geothermal power plant of ON Power in Iceland, power production has not been effected, while hot water production for district heating is expected to be operational on or after the weekend.

As reported by local media, a fire broke out at the 303 MW Hellisheidi  geothermal power plant in Iceland.

According to a statement by ON Power, the owner and operator of the plant, things are actually better than they looked in the immediate aftermath following a fire that broke out on Thursday this week. The firefights put out the fire yesterday but have been on site to guard overnight in case there are still some fires. There is no prospect of significant damage to the power plant’s production facilities and the equipment that was switched off or turned off on Thursday, will be operating normally again around or after a weekend. The geothermal exhibition located at the plant will though be closed over the coming days.

The source of the fire is not known, but the fire burned for about two hours in the ventilation equipment and roof of the central part of the power plant, including roof insulation material that emitted considerable smoke. At present, staff are preparing for the first repairs on the roof of the building.

The public has not been affected by production disturbance and hopes that this will not happen. One of six Hellisheidi high pressure turbines had a short hiccup, shortly after the fire started, but there seems to be no connection. For safety purposes, however, it was decided to turn off the low pressure turbine of the power plant and the heating plant before firefighting began. It looks like it will be possible to reboot the low pressure unit and heat station this weekend. The hot water station produces hot water for the district heating district heating. As forecasts predict cooling weather, there is full need for the heat production by the plant. Today (January 13), among other things, what action could be taken to launch hot water production.