High voltage lines should be buried beneath the earth instead of being carried on high masts made of steel, said Ásta Thorleifsdóttir deputy chairman of the board of Reykjavík Energy.
Thorleifsdóttir is also the chairman of the board of Reykjanes Public Park. She said she would oppose the construction of visible high voltage lines for the purpose of providing a new aluminum smelter in Helguvík with energy from the new geothermal power station Hellisheidarvirkjun as the heath of Hellisheidi is a much utilized outdoors region. “The times of visible high voltage lines has passed,” Thorleifsdóttir said to Morgunbladid and pointed out that the prize of steel had been raised considerably and that there was already a two year waiting period for steel masts.
Thorleifsdóttir said that earth cables for leading electricity are becoming technologically more viable and cheaper making it a better option to lead electric power underground.
The board of Reykjanes Public Park has declared, in a letter to the Minister of the Environment, that it is against the construction of visible high voltage lines. The letter says construction of such lines would diminish the experience and the pleasure of the public for outdoor activities in the region.
Thorleifsdóttir said the board of Reykjanes Public Park only had one goal, to protect the interests of the park.
“This land is intended for outdoor activity and education. I don’t see a conflict of interests in people taking care of the land and the environment. One needs to think about the future. There will be other Icelanders after us. We underline the fact raised by the municipalities in this region that the construction of visible high voltage lines would undermine the value of the region for outdoor activities and tourism. There are 200.000 people who live within half an hour distance from Reykjanes Public Park,” she said