Our distribution system in the Suðurnes region
We distribute electricity, hot water and freshwater in the Suðurnes region
We own and operate electricity and district heating distribution systems in the Suðurnes region. HS Veitur also distributes freshwater in Reykjanesbær and Garður.
We distribute electricity almost exclusively via underground cables, so the electrical distribution system is hardly visible except for substations and street cabinets. This infrastructure minimises the effects of weather on distribution and provides maximum security of supply. We distribute electricity at several voltage steps: 33 kV, 12 kV and 400 volts.
Our supply pipes from Svartsengi and collection pipes at Svartsengi are above ground, insulated with mineral wool and protected with an aluminium wrapping. All other pipes are below ground once they reach urban areas so they do not present an obstacle or eyesore.
Water is delivered at two temperatures from the heating facility. The output temperature of water to Grindavík is 83°C and is expected to be around 80°C when it reaches the town limits. The water that goes to the pumping station at Fitjar is at a temperature of around 105°C to 120°C when it leaves the heating facility. It is then mixed with recirculation water in the pumping station at Fitjar and distributed to users at about 83°C. In general, customers are expected use the water at around 35–40°C, after which the water flows to the sea via municipal sewerage systems. The distribution systems in the Suðurnes region are known as single district heating systems. At Ásbrú, however, their is a dual district heating system where the recirculation is supplied back to the pumping station.
There is significant abstraction of freshwater for the power plant at Gjá and other locations, or up to 1,200 tonnes per hour (330 litres per second). Water abstraction for the water utilities is 700 tonnes per hour (190 litres per second) on average. Excessive water consumption is considered unlikely, however, as the average rainfall in an area of 10 to 15 km2 is estimated to adequately meet the entire water demand of the district heating utility. For comparison, the entire Reykjanes peninsula is approximately 580 km2.
We own and operate a distribution system for cold water in Reykjanesbær and part of Suðurnesjabær (Garður). In addition, we operate the water utility in Keflavík International Airport’s security restricted area. Other municipalities in the Suðurnes region receive their cold water from us but operate their own distribution systems.
Our main catchment area is in a ravine in the Lágar lava field. Freshwater floats on top of subterranean sea water in this area. The pumping station at Lágar is built in a ravine where five steel pipes were installed. The ravine was then filled in with stones and gravel. The station has three pumps, each averaging around 100 litres per second. Water demand in Reykjanesbær is approximately 140–160 litres per second. Pumps can be added if water demand increases, but the main pipe is designed for a maximum discharge of 400 litres per second. The main reservoir is at Grænásgeymir. There is an additional reservoir in Keflavík, along with a standby reservoir.
Garður receives its water from two boreholes located at Árnaréttur and Skálareykjavegur and the system has two distribution tanks.
Hafnir gets its water from two boreholes by the main road, approximately 0.6 kilometres east of the town. This water is highly saline. Special drinking water desalination equipment is used to rectify this, which reduces metal corrosion so the water fulfils regulatory requirements for drinking water.
Residents in the municipality of Vogar get their water from a borehole at Vogavík, but work is underway on a new water catchment area for Vogar.