EIA for North Iceland Power Plant Reviewed in Part Skip to content

EIA for North Iceland Power Plant Reviewed in Part

Engineering firm Elfa concluded in a new report presented yesterday that a new overall environmental impact assessment (EIA) for a proposed geothermal power plant at Bjarnarflag near Lake Mývatn in Northeast Iceland is unnecessary.

geothermal-hellisheidi_goPhoto: Geir Ólafsson/Iceland Review.

The evaluation, carried out on behalf of Landsvirkjun national power company, stated that fundamental changes have not occurred to the basic condition or legal framework since the last EIA for Bjarnarflag was made ten years ago, ruv.is reports.

However, the report pointed out that what the current EIA lacks is an estimate of the risk of earthquakes that may occur when water is pumped into the ground as a result of geothermal operations.

Landsvirkjun therefore intends to ask the Icelandic National Planning Agency to look into the necessity for reviewing that part of the EIA.

According to Fréttablaðið, 15 months may pass between a decision on a new EIA on the aforementioned risk factor to launch of operations, provided the EIA greenlights a power plant in Bjarnarflag.

CEO of Landsvirkjun Hörður Arnarson told ruv.is that this will not halt the development of energy-intensive industry in Northeast Iceland. “We have other options,” he stated, mentioning the planned geothermal power plant in the nearby Þeistareykir area.

There’s also the option of using electricity already produced. The transmission system would have to be reinforced, which is Landsvirkjun’s first priority, Hörður revealed.

Chair of the Icelandic Environmental Association Landvernd Guðmundur Hörður Guðmundsson told Fréttablaðið that they welcome a new EIA on the risk of earthquakes in Bjarnarflag.

However, he added that what the NGO is mostly concerned about is the power plant’s impact on the flow of groundwater to Mývatn, which may have consequences for the biosphere there.

“I think a power plant in that location will always pose too much of a risk,” Guðmundur stated.

Related:

17.04.2013 | Minister Wants New EIA for North Iceland Plant

16.04.2013 | New Survey: Icelanders Oppose Mývatn Power Plant

ESA

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