Krafla Geothermal Power Station
Development for harnessing of geothermal steam at Krafla, near Lake Mývatn in north Iceland, began with trial boreholes in 1974. Construction work commenced in the summer of 1975. The powerhouse and other structures were designed for two 30 MW turbines.
The station was initially designed and built for the Icelandic State and was run by the Krafla executive committee and later taken over by the State Electric Power Works. In 1985 Landsvirkjun purchased the Krafla station from the State.
Various initial difficulties were encountered in exploration and drilling for steam, largely due to seismic and volcanic activity which caused corrosive magma vapours to enter the geothermal system, destroying the borehole linings. A series of nine volcanic eruptions began in the vicinity of the station in December, 1975 and lasted intermittently until September 1984. Seismic and volcanic impact on operations at Krafla has been gradually diminished since then.
In 1996, Landsvirkjun decided to complete the install action of the second unit. Drilling for steam began immediately using improved drilling technology which has proved highly successful. Electricity production from the second unit began in November 1997, and since late 1998, the Krafla station has been operated with full capacity of 60 MW, as originally planned.