Municipal Energy Museum is situated on the street Rafstodvarvegur (Power Station
Road) in the Ellidaar Valley opposite to the Ellidaar Power Station,
which has supplied the capital with electricity since 1921.
When the museum opened in 1990, its main goal was to depict the
history of the electrification of the capital.
When The Municipal Energy Authority was established in 1999, its
purpose was extended to cover the history of The Municipal Water Works
and The Geothermal Heating Works.
museum depicts folk history and technical development in Iceland.
On display are all kinds of things pertaining to the history and
development of The Municipal Energy Authority during almost a century
and which have played a major role in the country’s trade progress.
Electricity, hot water and pure
water were determining factors in the development of the
capital from a village to a town, when the sanitary
situation and standard of living took a turn for the better.
the autumn of 1899, the first electrical lights were turned on in this
country. It took place in
the building of the Isafold Printing Works on Adarlstraeti 6. The establishment of an electric authority had been debated
for some time prior to this event.
Nothing came of it at the time, however, mainly because of other
pressing and large projects, which were more important at the moment.
1909 The Municipal Water Works started their operation and were
considered quite an endeavour. Almost
at the same time, The Municipal Gas Works started and supplied the
inhabitants with fuel for cooking and lights, both outdoors and indoors.
During The First
World War the discussions on the development of the electric project
were continued and the hydroelectric power station on River Ellidaar was
inaugurated in 1921. The
museum depicts its building phases and operation verbally and visually,
and during workdays the power station is open to the visitors.
The output of the
power station barely sufficed for lightning and some industrial
undertaking. Coal was used
for house heating. In the
late twenties the idea of exploiting the geothermal energy for this
purpose was put forward and several boreholes were sunk by the Washing
Wells in the Laugardalur Valley. In
1930 The Geothermal Heating Works starter their operation.
Its supply system was limited to a few homes, one of the schools
and the swimming hall. This
experiment convinced the authorities, that its expansion would prove
most advantageous, and in 1943 the whole community enjoyed this means of
house heating from the boreholes at Reykir in the Mosfell Valley.
soon became interested in the unharnessed energy of River Sog in the
Southwestern Lowlands. In
1935 preparations for the construction of the first hydroelectric power
station were commenced, and in 1937 it was inaugurated.
During the following decades the work continued and the river was
considered fully exploited shortly before 1960, when two more power
stations had been added. The
museum depicts this vast project.
educational centre of the Energy Authority, The Energy World, is
operated on the ground floor of the museum.
It concentrates on practical education of primary and secondary
level pupils to deepen their understanding in the nature of electricity.