idea of harnessing the geothermal energy of the Bjarnarflag Area was
first debated in 1967 and the year after, the hydroelectric power
stations on River Laxa were permitted to realize this project.
At that time boreholes for the already existing Diatomite Factory
had been sunk successfully. During
the summer of 1968 the construction work was finished and British BTH
generators with the capacity of 2½-3 MW were installed.
They started delivering power on the 5th of March 1969
and their operation continued successfully during the following years.
Because of the continuing tectonic and volcanic activity in the
so-called “Gjastykki Area” during the period 1975-1984 and the
imminent danger of eruptions in The Bjarnarflag Area, the power station
was disassembled at the end of 1980.
After reinstallation it has delivered 2½-3 MW.
tectonic movements of the earth’s crust caused considerable damages to
boreholes and the Diatomite Factory during the aforementioned volcanic
period and in 1980 a new borehole was sunk there very successfully.
This geothermal power station delivered power to the somewhat
starved Lake Myvatn Area before the national grid was realized in 1980
and limited the expensive diesel engined production in Akureyri.
In the beginning the Bjarnarflag Geothermal Power Station was the
property of the Hydroelectric Power Stations of River Laxa and the steam
energy supplier was the Geothermal Authority.
In 1987 the Energy Authority bought The Geothermal Authority and
the exploitation rights after the Laxa Power Stations had become a part
of the Energy Authority.
Bjarnarflag Power Station is the country’s first and oldest geothermal
power station and one of the first of its kind in the world.
Its success inspired The Energy Authority to undertake larger
projects in this field, such as the Krafla, Svartsengi and Nesjavellir
Power plants. In 2001 these
power stations deliver approximately 200 MW, about one fifth of the
total capacity. In the
foreseeable future, the exploitation of geothermal energy is going to
increase as the Authorities will realize the advantages and less and
much more limited visible changes to the landscape than the exploitation
of hydro energy does.
2001 the operation of The Bjarnarflag Power Station was terminated for a
spell as the generators, turbines and other equipment were overhauled
for about Ikr. 60 millions. Plans
for the construction of a much larger power station have met with some
resistance in the Capital Area and other geothermal plants have been run
at full capacity. The
inhabitants of the Northeast have always been positive supporters of a
large geothermal power station in the Bjarnarflag Area and based their
opinions on the successful exploitation of this energy source from the