Field trip on August 29, 2014

Nesjavellir Geothermal Plant

Nesjavellir geothermal plant generates electricity and hot water by utilizing geothermal water and steam. The plant output is 120 MWe and 300 MWt/1800 litres per second. 

Exploration and planning for utilization started as early as 1947 and was continued for two years. A few experimental boreholes were drilled for the evaluation of the exploitable power and the chemical composition of the steam.  Following a time of intermission, exploration and research continued with some regularity from 1965 to 1986. The construction of the geothermal power station was started in 1987 and completed in 1990.

Like the rest of the Hengill area, Nesjavellir is popular for recreational activities. Reykjavik Energy has organised the outdoors areas of its land there, marking hiking and riding trails. Archaeological finds and other historical cultural artifacts have been registered, a total of 375 sites at Nesjavellir and Ölfusvatn. Two hikers' shelters, open to everyone, have been built in the Hengill area.

Lunch at Eldhestar

Visit to the Agricultural University of Iceland – explore how greenhouses in Iceland are using geothermal energy and see the how bananas are grown in Iceland.

Apart from space heating, one of Iceland's oldest and most important usages of geothermal energy is for heating greenhouses. For years, naturally warm soil has been used for growing potatoes and other vegetables. Heating greenhouses using geothermal energy began in Iceland in 1924. The majority of Iceland's greenhouses are located in the south, and most are enclosed in glass. It is common to use inert growing media (volcanic scoria, rhyolite) on concrete floors with individual plant watering. Geothermal steam is commonly used to boil and disinfect the soil. The increasing use of electric lighting in recent years has extended the growing season and improved greenhouse utilization. 

Visit to a brewery – Ölvisholt

Olvisholt Brugghus is a microbrewery located at an old dairy farm in south Iceland. It was founded in the year 2007 by two neighboring farmers who had a true passion for beer.