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Clean energy direct from the earth

 Photo: Stefan Jonasson

Author: Stefan Jonasson

 

We don’t generally think of a power plant as a tourist destination, but the geothermal energy exhibition at Iceland’s Hellisheiði Geothermal Power Station (Hellisheiðarvirkjun) offers a fascinating look at the natural forces and modern technology behind clean energy production. Located in the Hengill area, between Reykjavík and Þingevellir, the plant is a futuristic-looking facility that blends so beautifully into the surrounding landscape that it’s only seen if one looks closely below the billowing steam that escapes it.
Hellisheiði is Iceland’s largest power plant. Its four energy processing units, which have been in operation for about a decade, produce 180 megawatts of power, which is about 30 percent of the country’s electrical production from geothermal sources and enough electricity to supply the domestic power needs of Reykjavík. The plant’s overall capacity is 303 megawatts of electricity and 133 megawatts of thermal energy.  . . .

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