Geothermal exploration, development and utilization at Svartsengi

Geothermal Power Plant in Svartsengi. Photo Guðmundur Ó. Friðleifsson.

Client: HS Orka, former Hitaveita Suðurnesja
Location: Reykjanes peninsula, Southwest Iceland
Date: 1971 - ongoing
Coordinator at ÍSOR: Steinþór Níelsson

Project goals

Sustainable exploitation of the geothermal reservoir in Svartsengi. The utilization has been developed in six steps, starting with a production of hot water for space heating in surrounding municipalities. The electricity production was increased in 2008 and currently 75 MWe and 150 MWt are produced in Svartsengi. Although brine from the power plant is injected back into the geothermal reservoir, part of it is supplying the Blue Lagoon. At the moment the Svartsengi power plant is utilizing high and low pressure steam as well as binary units for the waste heat from the condensing units. Some 30 geothermal wells have been drilled.

ÍSOR services

ÍSOR, and its predecessor National Energy Authority (NEA) has worked on an extensive geothermal exploration of the high temperature area of Svartsengi. ÍSOR has worked on:

  • volumetric assessment
  • numerical modelling
  • conceptual modelling
  • geothermal and geological mapping
  • resistivity measurements
  • gravimetric measurement and monitoring
  • geochemical studies
  • geochemical monitoring
  • groundwater monitoring
  • environmental monitoring
  • siting of all wells
  • well testing
  • extensive consultancy and monitoring of drilling projects
  • well logging
  • reservoir monitoring