The year turned out to be eventful for Reykjavik Enerfy Group's diverse operations and the learning curve was steep. The following is a short recap of main events.
Changes to ON Power´s EV charging network as the contract with N1 has expired. ON Power sets up new fast EV charging points in Viðigerði in Húnaþing and at Mt. Baula in Borgarfjörður and upgrades equipment in many places, but N1 itself takes over the charging services at the company’s servicing stations.
A large leak from a cold water pipe valve is reported south of the main building of the University of Iceland and a large volume of water leaks into the university premises. The leak was detected in a Veitur Utilities water control centre when a drop in pressure was observed in the cold water distribution system west of Snorrabraut.
An agreement is reached between Reykjavík Energy (OR) and Norðurál to lift the confidentiality on the companies’ electricity sales agreement from the year 2008.
Reykjavik Energy has been granted membership of the international Nasdaq Sustainable Bond Network (NSBN), which is a joint platform for issuers of green and socially responsible bonds in the Nasdaq securities markets around the world. Reykjavik Energy is the first Icelandic issuer to be granted a membership of this kind.
ON Power launches local EV charging points at 32 locations in Reykjavík and 4 locations in Garðabær, which can serve two to six electric vehicles at a time. The charging points were installed in collaboration with the two municipalities in public car parks owned by them.
Veitur Utilities accepts Securitas’ offer for the installation of 160,000 smart meters for customers. The contract is worth about ISK 1,800 million. This involves replacing about 102 thousand electricity meters, 55 thousand heat meters and 3 thousand water meters in Veitur Utilities’ servicing areas.
Berglind Rán Ólafsdóttir, CEO of ON Power, is elected chairperson of Icelandic Energy and Utilities (Samorka), becoming the first woman in the association’s history to hold the position of chairperson. Berglind takes over from Helgi Jóhannesson, CEO of Norðurorka, who held the position for the past five years.
Reykjavík Energy receives recognition for good results in the field of equal pay from gender pay equity certification organisations. This is the first time that recognition for gender pay equity has been awarded in this way. “It’s an honour to be ranked among the first companies,” says Víðir Ragnarsson, project manager for gender equality at Reykjavík Energy.
Carbfix and SORPA start experiments to dispose of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from SORPA's landfills in Álfsnes. The aim is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 3,500 tonnes of CO2 in the early stages and by up to 7,500 tonnes per year by the end of the experimental phase. In parallel with the re-injection of CO2, a method will be developed for awarding carbon units for offsetting carbon emissions using the Carbfix method.
Veitur Utilities publishes a book, CLOACINA - a history of sewerage by historian Guðjón Friðriksson, who traces the history of the capital’s waste water system over the past hundred years. Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson received the book in the spot where the cover photo was taken, close to the city's ancient so-called “Public toilet zero” in Bankastræti.
Veitur Utilities is preparing for wildfires in Heiðmörk. The capital’s water sources and the water protected zones around it are located in Heiðmörk and it is very important to ensure that they are not polluted, e.g. by oil or other substances that can permeate the bedrock into the groundwater streams.
Iceland maintains its top position as the European country where the highest percentage of households use fibre-optic connections to meet the data transmission needs of the home. This was announced at a meeting in which the Fibre to the Home Council Europe Association presented the situation on the continent.
US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, is relieved when he visits ON Power’s Hellisheidi Power Plant. Bjarni Bjarnason, CEO of Reykjavík Energy, received Blinken and briefed him on the use of geothermal energy and, not least, Carbfix technology, which the Secretary was very interested in.
Carbfix and the Danish Dan-Unity CO2 shipping company negotiate a deal for the transportation of CO2 for disposal at Coda Terminal, Carbfix's transport and storage hub in Straumsvík. The shipping company, which has decades of experience in transporting various gases by sea, will transport CO2 on specially designed ships that run on eco-friendly fuels.
The Elliðaár power station is participating in the DesignMarch festival for the first time. It has also been decided that the station will take part in the festival in the coming years. This is one of a growing number of exhibition spaces, linking the valley with design and innovation. The DesignMarch festival was not held in March due to the pandemic.
Bjarni Bjarnason, CEO of Reykjavík Energy, and Karl Andreassen, CEO of Ístak, sign a construction contract for the renovation of Vesturhús, part of Reykjavík Energy’s headquarters at Bæjarháls 1. The project is expected to take 22 months.
There is considerable anticipation as a new production well is tested at the Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Plant. The reason is that the bottom of the well, which is almost 2.4 kilometres deep, is one of the hottest to be drilled in Iceland. The new well, called NJ-32, looks promising, but testing will continue for several weeks.
Fibre optic experts will start laying fibre optic cables along Suðurstrandarvegur, south of the eruption site by Fagradalsfjall. It was important to get the pipes into the ground before the lava would shut off the path for the indeterminate future.
Veitur utilities has changed its delivery of hot water in the districts of Reykjavík that are west of Elliðaár and in Kjalarnes. They now receive heated water from the ON Power plants in Hellisheidi and Nesjavellir instead of water from boreholes in geothermal areas in Reykjavík and Mosfellsbær. With this operation, the entire capital area will for the first time receive all of its hot water from ON Power plants.
Elkem Ísland, Veitur Utilities and the Grundartangi Development Company (GDC) jointly intend to investigate the feasibility of utilising the heat generated by the silicon metal plant at Grundartangi to boost Veitur Utilities’s district heating in the West.
Sjálfsbjörg and ON Power have signed a co-operation agreement, which aims to ensure that people with impaired mobility have access to all ON Power services and EV charging points throughout the country. Bergur Þorri Benjamínsson, chairman of Sjálfsbjörg, says that the collaboration is a major step forward, which will help people with disabilities to fully participate in energy switching in transport.
ON Power presents a revolutionary solution in the rapidly developing world of electric vehicle owners. For the first time in Iceland, it is now possible to obtain home charging points as a subscription service instead of electric vehicle owners having to invest in this equipment themselves.
On Power is compelled to pull the plug on the 156 street EV charging points the company has installed in many parts of Reykjavík. This will be done on Monday 28 June, after Ísorka complained that the chargers were open to anyone free of charge.
The Elliðaár power station marks its 100th anniversary since King Kristján X and Queen Alexandrína formally launched the first two generators there on 27 June 1921. This was commemorated with a simple ceremony at the Elliðaár power station where Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson and Bjarni Bjarnason, CEO of Reykjavík Energy, delivered speeches.
Siminn’s customers can now avail of their services on the Reykjavík Fibre Network, whether it is telephone services, internet connections or television. The first customer has already been connected, and that was the home of Ellen Ýr Aðalsteinsdóttir and family.
The international Moody’s rating agency has given Reykjavík Energy (OR) an investment grade in its rating when it assigned the group with a Baa3 long-term issuer rating with a stable outlook.
A huge step is taken in ON Power’s geothermal park in Hellisheidi when Orca, Climeworks’ air carbon dioxide capture and storage system, starts operations. This is a major step in direct air carbon dioxide capture, since the station can capture 4,000 tons of CO2 each year, which it removes directly from the atmosphere in a secure manner.
Reykjavík Energy publishes a code of ethics which the Group’s suppliers are expected to confirm they adhere to. The code of ethics is published in accordance with Reykjavík Energy’s emphasis on corporate social responsibility and the priorities of the United Nations Global Goals in its operations.
Veitur Utilities’ new offices at Lækjarflói in Akranes are formally opened. The new building is about 1000 sqm in size and revolutionises all the work facilities of our staff in West Iceland, who for the past four years have worked in office containers, after mould appeared in its premises.
Rio Tinto and Carbfix join forces to capture carbon from the ISAL smelter at Straumsvík and permanently sequester it into the bedrock near the smelter.
Veitur Utilities lowers its household pipeline connection fees for new customers of district heating, the electricity utility and water supply. The decrease ranges between 2.2% and 10.7%. The change will take effect at the beginning of December.
After appearing under the brand name of Ljósleiðarinn for the past seven years, the name of the Reykjavik Fibre Network is now formally changed to RFN-Ljósleiðarinn. The company operates an extensive fibre-optic network and is still under construction. All of the country’s largest telecommunication and content providers offer their services via the RFN-Ljósleiðarinn network, and the company has been the lifeline of competition in the telecommunications market over the past years.
COP26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, begins in Glasgow. Representatives from ON Power will be attending and endeavouring to hold informed discussions about the problem that nations face, as well as networking and participating in events.
Birna Bragadóttir takes over the chairmanship of the board of RFN-Ljósleiðarinn, a telecommunications company that has provided fibre optic connections to more than 100,000 homes in Iceland and is owned by Reykjavik Energy. Birna has been a member of the company’s board, formerly known as the Reykjavik Fibre Network, since 2019.
Dirk Beckers, Director at the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency, and Edda Sif Pind Aradóttir, CEO of Carbfix, sign a ISK 600 million grant agreement where the EU Innovation Fund supports further development of the Carbfix carbon sequestration method at the Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant.
Crown Prince Friðrik of Denmark visits ON Power’s Hellisheidi power plant where he was accompanied by a Danish trade delegation that is studying energy issues and Carbfix’s carbon capture and mineral storage at the plant.
Next year it will be a hundred years since the power station in Elliðaárdalur was inaugurated. To mark the occasion, Reykjavík Energy intends to bring even more life to the valley with the opening of a history and technology exhibition under the auspices of the Elliðaár power station. The turf at Rafstöðvarvegur will then acquire a new role as our remarkable history will be told through a varied and informative experience, both indoors and in the adventurous surroundings of the valley.
Bjarni Bjarnason, CEO of Reykjavik Energy, writes an official article. The short answer, he says, is yes. Otherwise there would be no need to reduce the supply of electricity to industrial users. The reason is not that there is a need for more and larger power plants, but first and foremost that there is a lack of water to run them.
The influence of women in energy companies is greatest at Reykjavik Energy. This is stated in a new report prepared by the Ernst & Young auditing firm on Women in power and utilities.