Blanda Hydroelectric Station
The idea of harnessing the River Blanda in north Iceland was first raised in 1950, when systematic planning began for hydropower development in Iceland. Extensive studies were conducted during the 1970s aimed at establishing the most economical arrangement for harnessing the river. The basic design of the project was published in 1980. The Blanda power station is the first major hydropower project in Iceland which is in all respects designed by Icelanders.
The Blanda hydropower project was launched on the basis of a parliamentary resolution of May 6, 1982, which entrusted its construction and operation to the State Electric Power Works, along with design supervision and negotiations with local landowners. In August 1982, an agreement was signed between the Government of Iceland and Landsvirkjun, whereby the latter undertook construction and operation of the Blanda station. Construction work began in 1984 with a schedule providing for completion in 1988, but owing to market conditions the completion was postponed for three years. On July 1, 1990, the President of Iceland, Mrs. Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, laid the cornerstone of the Blanda power station. The first turbine unit went on-line in autumn 1991 and the station entered operation at full capacity with three turbine units in March 1992. Initially the main dam was not built to its full height and the reservoir was 39 km2 with a storage capacity of 220 Gl. In 1996 the dam was raised by 4 m and the reservoir grew to its designed size of 56 km2 with a storage capacity of 400 Gl.