Fljotsdalsstod karahnjukar LV

Landsvirkjun, the Icelandic National Power Company, has this winter been forced to curtail the supply of electricity to its customers due to insufficient water resources in its reservoirs to drive production at full capacity.

The company has now released that it will have to continue the operational measures longer into the spring than had been hoped. The reason is an exceptionally poor water year, where its reservoir has been rapidly depleted. There is no prospect that the situation will improve until the weather warms up and spring thaws begin, with increasing inflow into Landsvirkjun's powerplants watersheds.

Mixed reservoir never lower

During the past winter, 2023-2024, Landsvirkjun's distribution management has been exceptionally unfavorable in all watersheds. It has been cold and dry this winter, and the flow in Landsvirkjun's watersheds is the lowest known. Apart from a wet section in the Þjórsár area in March, fall of water level has been constant in all reservoirs.

The average water level at this time of year, typically the beginning of spring, is one of the lowest ever at Fljótsdalsstation in the East, and Blöndulón in the North, has never been so low at this time of year.

Reduced to customers from early December

Due to the low levels in the reservoir in December 2023, the company deemed it necessary to reduce production and consequently reduce the supply of energy to large users in the south-western part of the country. First, reductions were made in the delivery of secondary energy to fishmeal factories and fish dryers, as well as to data centers that practice electronic crypto mining. Following, delivery was reduced to large users, i.e. Elkem silicon factory and Norðurál and Rio Tinto aluminum smelters, as well as to district heating companies. In February, further cuts were announced to be needed, now also in the northern and eastern parts of the country, included Alcoa Fjarðarál's aluminum smelter, PCC Bakka's silicon plant, TDK's power foil plant and the atNorth data center.

In order to increase the energy security of households and small businesses, Landsvirkjun changed the arrangement of wholesale sales at the beginning of the cuts to reduce uncertainty caused by the potential water level in the spring. Sales have been limited to one month at a time and long-term contracts have not been made available. This arrangement will remain unchanged as long as the cut period remains.

This reality has made it very clear that hydro energy is a sensitive, not unlimited resource, and that it can not been taken for granted! Same is also increasingly understood in relations to geothermal energy sources.
The impact of Climate change or climate fluctuations may become an increasing factor in the utilization of Iceland´s energy. This calls for diversification in renewable resources, technical developments and highest level professional management.

You can monitor the water level of reservoirs daily on the monitoring page of Landsvirkjun's website.

Source: Landsvirkjun


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