Beginning in the spring of 2016, Landsvirkjun will begin maximizing the utilization of the Þjórsá River by expanding the Búrfell Hydropower Station. The National Power Company of Iceland will be growing the station by 100 MW, and though the expansion itself will be generating power only part of the year, the addition will increase the flexibility and operational security of the system.
Iceland is always a frontrunner in environmentalism, so the design of the station puts a heavy emphasis on environmental harmony. The powerhouse will be located underground at Sámsstaðaklif to cause minimum disturbance to the outer environment, while allowing full access to recreational areas in the hydropower station’s vicinity. The design team Verkís, the oldest consulting firm in Iceland, is responsible for the smart underground planning. About 150 people will be involved in the construction, which is expected to continue into the middle of 2018.
Though the expansion is initially expected to reach capacity at 100 MW, there are plans to expand by an additional 40 MW. The potential expansion could push the capacity of the system to 300 GWh/Yr, helping meet the new demands of customers. The need for company growth itself is a great indicator of the growing and thriving population of Iceland. Here’s hoping expansion and construction run smoothly!