At ON Power’s Geothermal Park at the Hellisheidi power plant, located in the municipality of Ölfus, ways are being sought to further diversify the utilisation of thermal energy, electricity, water and geothermal gases from the plant. A diversified use of geothermal energy can increase efficiency and strengthen environmentally sound operations and innovation in the business community. The diagram provides an overview of the energy-related natural resources that can be utilised in the operations of the Geothermal Park.
A unique climate project
The latest example of a better usage of natural resources is how various energy-related supplies are being used by the Swiss innovation company Climeworks. In 2021, under the auspices of the so-called ORCA project, Climeworks started to suck carbon dioxide out of the air at the ON Geothermal Park, capturing about 4,000 tons of CO₂ from the atmosphere annually and mineralising it into the bedrock in collaboration with Carbfix and ON Power.
ON Power produces hydrogen at the Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant for experimental purposes, as part of the European Union’s Hydrogen Mobility Europe development project. Energy production in the power plant is used for hydrogen production in periods when there is less demand for electricity and the hydrogen is used for the benefit of the community and the economy in energy switching in transport.
The international start-up company VAXA (formerly Algaennovation) uses energy-related supplies in a microalgae facility in ON Power’s Geothermal Park and separated water from the Hellisheiði Geothermal Power Plant is used for the production of dietary supplements by the GeoSilica company. A considerable amount of carbon dioxide goes into electricity production in Hellisheiði. Numerous start-up businesses have shown an interest in using carbon dioxide and other elements from the plant. In Hveradalir, the old skiing resort, a bathing lagoon is being prepared that will utilise the water and heat generated during the energy production at the Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant.
Strict requirements are placed on companies that intend to operate in the ON Power Geothermal Park regarding water protection, appearance, disturbances and orderliness. During the construction phases of projects, there are requirements to re-use the vegetation cover that is removed. It is put back in its place when the earthworks finish or it is used elsewhere where it may be needed.