Geothermal Park at Hellisheiði

At ON Power’s Geothermal Park at the Hellisheidi power plant, located in the municipality of Ölfus, ways are being sought to further diversify the utilisation of thermal energy, electricity, water and geothermal gases from the plant. A diversified use of geothermal energy can increase efficiency and strengthen environmentally sound operations and innovation in the business community. The diagram provides an overview of the energy-related natural resources that can be utilised in the operations of the Geothermal Park.

Geothermal Park in Hellisheidi

Overview of energy-related resource flows at the Geothermal Park at Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant.

More atmospheric carbon capture

The Swiss innovation company Climeworks did well in capturing CO2 directly from the atmosphere at ON Power's Geothermal Park this year. An agreement was reached with ON Power in the middle of the year regarding increased activity and a new unit ten times as productive as the existing one. Mammoth is the name of the new plant that also connects to the Carbfix equipment method for the disposal of the carbon in the strata. The combined output of Climeworks will be 44,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year. This corresponds to the emissions of about 10,000 combustion vehicles.

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Hydrogen production

ON Power produces hydrogen at the Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant for experimental purposes, as part of the European Union’s Hydrogen Mobility Europe development project. Energy production in the power plant is used for hydrogen production in periods when there is less demand for electricity and the hydrogen is used for the benefit of the community and the economy in energy switching in transport.

Hydrogen has been produced in ON's Geothermal Park at Hellisheiðarvirkjun since 2020 and is the only producer of electric fuel in the country. Hydrogen can be used directly to power vehicles or mixed with carbon dioxide for methanol or related production.

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Algae production

The international start-up company VAXA uses energy-related supplies in an algea producing facility in ON Power’s Geothermal Park. The company has been successful, has increased its production considerably, and intends listing its shares in the United States.

Product development with Veitur Utilities

Veitur Utilities, ON Power's sister company, operates the heating utility in the capital area and draws more than half of its hot water from ON Power's plants at Nesjavellir and Hellisheiði. Heating water from Veitur's own low-temperature areas and the water from the power plants must be kept separate in the heating system due to the risk of scaling that can clog pipes. In ON Power's Geothermal Park, an R&D project run by Reykjavík Energy's scientists is under way, aiming to find ways to alter the properties of the hot water that comes from the power plants, so that it is safe to mix with the low-temperature water. The benefits of this are multiple, including; better utilization of water in the heating system, it will be easier to rest the natural low-temperature areas when necessary, the operation of the heating system will be simpler, and, finally, the magnesium silicates that are precipitated from the water are a marketable product for all kinds of chemical processing.

Sustainable businesses

Strict requirements are placed on companies that intend to operate in the ON Power Geothermal Park regarding water protection, appearance, disturbances and orderliness. During the construction phases of projects, there are requirements to re-use the vegetation cover that is removed. It is put back in its place when the earthworks finish or it is used elsewhere where it may be needed. The commercial development of a swimming pool in Hveradalir Valley is ongoing, and ON Power's receives a number of inquiries from interested parties about the development of new activities in ON Power's Geothermal Park.