The year turned out to be eventful for Reykjavik Energy Group's diverse operations and the learning curve was steep. The following is a short recap of main events.
At Reykjavik Energy Group's Board meeting in February, a decision was made to establish a public corporation around the Carbfix method of capture and storage of carbon dioxide. For the last few years, Carbfix has been operated at Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant with great success. Dr. Edda Sif Aradóttir has been appointed the new executive head, but she had served as the project manager at Carbfix for several years.
Only very small quantity of microplastics can be found in the drinking water from Veitur Utilities' waterworks, although it can be found in considerable quantity in the environment. This was the finding in a new and independent research, conducted over the last few years by ReSource International (RI).
Today it was announced by Stjórnvísi, that customer satisfaction is the highest among customers of ON Power, compared with other electricity suppliers, according to the Icelandic Satisfaction Scale from 2019. This is the second year running that ON Power receives this coveted accolade.
Reykjavik Energy Group has been granted membership at the Nasdaq Sustainable Bond Network (NSBN), which is a joint platform for issuers of green, social and sustainability bonds at the Nasdaq Sustainable Debt Market around the world. Reykjavik Energy Group is the first Icelandic company to be granted membership at the NSBN.
In a newly published report on research regarding the quantity of drinking water used by households (Heimilinotkun á neysluvatni), it emerges that daily consumption of drinking water in new residential areas in the capital area is almost 140 litres per resident. Although motivation to save water has not been as intense here in Iceland as in many other European countries, surveys have shown that usage of drinking water per resident in the capital area during the last decades, has been comparable to the lowest usage in Europe, recorded in 2004.
Reykjavik Energy Group receiveded the Business Education Awards by the Federation of Icelandic Industries (SI), for offering concise and strategic education and training for its employees and employees of its subsidiaries, i.e. Veitur Utilities, ON Power, Reykjavik Fibre Network and Carbfix. Mr. Bjarni Bjarnason, CEO of Reykjavik Engergy Group and Ms. Ásdís Eir Símonardóttir, HR Specialist, accepted the awards on behalf of the Group from the president of Iceland, Mr. Guðni Th. Jóhannesson.
An advertisment has been published asking for applications for new members of the Board for two of Reykjavik Energy Group's subsidiaries: On Power and Carbfix. This is the first time that Reykjavik Energy Group has chosen this approach for seeking new Board members, but this method is becoming increasingly popular by companies and organisations.
Greta Thunberg, climate activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, visited Climeworks at their carbon dioxide direct air capture plant outside Zürich this week. Climeworks is one of the CarbFix2 project partners – and have together with Carbfix installed a direct air capture plant at the current Carbfix injection site at the Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant in Iceland.
The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has been widely felt and internet traffic has increased vastly as a result of substantial increase in telecommuting, accompanied with less car traffic and fewer pedestrians. Reykjavik Fibre Network data transfer, via the company's optical fibre cable, have increased by 40%, along with increased load on its system.
Reykjavik Energy Group plans on further electricity production at Elliðaárdalur Power Station, including the construction of a small electrical power plant, have for the time being been pushed aside. A study demonstrated that continued electricity production at the plant would be impractical.
Iceland leads the way when it comes to fibre optic cable utilisation by households in Europe, according to report published by the Fibre to Home Council Europe. According to the report, 65.9% Icelandic households are connected to the fibre optic network.
Approximately 16.5% of the population admit to having flushed wet- and disinfectant wipes, and other trash down the toilet, but 83.5% say that is something they would never do. This is one of the findings from a survey done for Veitur Utilities in April. Recently we heard in the news that a sewage processing centre at Klettagarðar in Reykjavík suffered malfunction for a period of time, resulting in untreated sewage being pumped directly into the sea. This was due to immense amount of wet- and disinfectant wipes and other trash that had been flushed downed the toilets.
The ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources, the City of Reykjavík, the Associated Icelandic Ports (Faxaflóahafnir), Veitur Utilities, and the freight companies Samskip and Eimskip, signed today a letter of intent for the installation and use of high-voltage generator for cargo vessels at Sundabakki and Vogabakki docks in Reykjavik. The equipment will drastically decrease greenhouse gas emissions and lower local air pollution from operations at the harbour area in Reykjavík.
At Veitur Utilities' Board meeting, April 8, it was decided to devise a resilience plan, to counterbalance the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Icelandic economy. Veitur Utilities will demonstrate social responsibility in action by increasing investment in infrastructure projects, aiming at keeping the level of employment as high as possible.
The Icelandic Climate Fund have just announced their selection of projects for 2020. Two Carbfix-related proposals were among the funded projects in the Innovation Action category.
ON Power has introduced its latest generation of EV rapid-charging points (150kW) for electric vehicles. The rapid-charging point station is located at ON Power's headquarters at Bæjarháls.
Reykjavik Energy Group and its subsidiaries have created additional 30 summer jobs, in order to counterbalance the difficult employment situation, caused by COVID-19. These summer jobs are an addition to the prior 100 summer jobs already filled.
Down to Earth, a new TV travel show hosted by Zac Efron and Darin Olien, premieres on Netflix today. In the series, the Hollywood actor and the wellness guru travel the world to learn about healthy and sustainable ways to live, as well as treating themselves to local food. Their destination in the first episode is Iceland.
This morning, Síminn, Icelands's largest telecom, and Reykjavik Fibre Network signed an agreement, whereas Reykjavik Fibre Network grants Síminn access to its fibre optic network. This means that Síminn will be able to provide increased service to its customers in the future, via Reykjavik Fibre Network's optical fibre network.
Last night, Carbfix received the international Keeling Curve Prize for their method of carbon disposal, which transforms gas to stone. The awards annually recognize pioneer organisations who have made notable success in decreasing emissions or increasing the immobilisation of carbon dioxide to help fight climate crisis.
Electricity sales for cars at ON Power's charging stations increased considerably during the summer, indicating surge in use of electric cars, which is also supported by marked increase in the number of electric cars.
Climeworks has signed groundbreaking agreements with both Carbfix, carbon storage pioneers, and ON Power, the Icelandic geothermal energy provider, to lay the foundation for a new plant that will significantly scale up carbon removal and storage in Iceland. The new plant will be able to permanently remove annually 4000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the air.
Operations at Bolholt 5 in Reykjavík, will formally commence this week, when the drilling rig 'Nasi' will be started. At this site, one of Veitur Utilities' bounteous geothermal borehole is located, one which has served the citizens of Reykjavik since 1963.
Today, households in Reykjanesbær can start connecting to the Reykjavik Fibre Network, and it gives us great pleasure to be able to offer, for the first time, One Gig, a high quality fibre-to-the home network via the Reykjavik Fibre Network. One Gig can relay 1,000 megabytes for each household.
Available now is double the amount of electricity if all privately owned cars were electric cars. Therefore, owners of electric cars do not need to worry that new power plants have to be erected in order to provide sufficient electricity for their cars, according to Mr. Bjarni Bjarnason, Reykjavik Energy Group's CEO, who was a guest at the popular television current affairs magazine Silfur, with host Fanney Birna Jónsdóttir, on RÚV today viðtali Fanneyjar Birnu Jónsdóttur við Bjarna Bjarnason forstjóra Orkuveitu Reykjavíkur í Silfrinu á RÚV.
Reykjavik Energy Group has set the target of reaching carbon neutrality by 2030. The new target is more ambitious than before. Increased storage and utilisation of carbon dioxide from ON Power Geothermal Steam Plant will play the largest role in achieving this target.
Tuesday, September 29, 2020, marks 30 years from the commissioning of the Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Plant. Jóhann, who started working there as a project manager in 1985, during the drilling phase, says that conditions were rather primitive for the first few years.
The expansion project at the Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant, which produces hot water for residents and businesses in the capital area has been completed. The plant's processing power has increased from 600 l/s to 925 l/s, or roughly 50%. Total cost of the expansion project is approximately ISK 1.25 billion.
New EV charging point station was opened at the service station at Þingvellir. The station has one rapid-charging point (50kW) and two charging points (22kW).
Reykjavik Energy Group's headquarters at Bæjarháls 1, Reykjavík, were formally opened in the spring of 2003. However, in late 2015, serious damage due to damp was discovered in the West Wing of the building, to everyone's dismay. Besides the obvious financial loss, it is always a serious matter if employees' health may be at risk at the workplace.
Tomorrow, Thursday October 29, employees from Reykjavik Energy Group will empty the northern part of Árbær's reservoir (a.k.a. the Duck pond). This is a permanent arrangement. The decision to empty the reservoir is taken after consulting with the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute, which has suggested that a natural flow of the river should be established through the dam, i.e. the flaps should not be manipulated at all, but kept open all year round.
Veitur Utilities and the public transport company Strætó, which operates city buses in the capital, have signed a letter of intent, stating that the companies will join forces in order to secure that the development of electricity infrastructure at Veitur Utilities will incorporate the needs of Strætó and other environmentally friendly transport. By doing this, the publicly owned companies will do their share in minimising the societal cost of energy switching in transport in Iceland.
Carbfix, an innovation start-up company that combats climate change by converting carbon dioxide to stone, today received a special innovation award at the Festa and Reykjavík City Climate Awards. Ms. Edda Sif Pind Aradóttir, CEO of Carbfix, says that the recognition is a great encouragement for the newly established company as the urgency for climate action is clear.
The street lamp department at ON Power are busy these days replacing street lamps in Breiðholt, a district in Reykjavik. The new lamps are fitted with LED light bulbs. The project has been successful and will probably be completed in January, with around 3400 new lamps installed.
In light of the fact that one of the deepest cold spell since 2013 in the Southwest of Iceland is forecasted, Veitur Utilities' has mobilised a contingency plan for its operations. The plan entails that people will be encouraged to use hot water sparingly, so enough hot water is available for domestic heating.
Veitur Utilities has made an agreement with the Slovenian company Iskraemeco to buy a leading edge solution in the automation of electrical- and hot- and cold water meters. The agreement is worth ISK 2 billion and includes procurement of meters and computer programs, along with its integration to Veitur Utilities' operations.
2021 marks Elliðaárdalur Power Station's centennial. Reykjavik Energy Group has decided to give further zest to its surroundings in the valley, by opening Elliðaárdalur Power Station's history- and technical exhibition. The green pastures surrounding the power station at Rafstöðvarvegur Road, will gain a new role as the exhibition's area, where this remarkable history will be told by multiform and educational experience in the power station's buildings, as well as in its adventurous environs in the valley Elliðaárdalur.