Looking over a landscape, gravel in the foreground and then grassy fields with water on the left side. In the distance you can see two windmills and behind them blue mountains

Windfarm - Preliminary design

IcelandUrban planningRenewable energy

EFLA did a preliminary design/project design and a feasibility study for a wind farm in several potential areas near Hafið, a lava plain above Búrfell mountain in South Iceland.

  • Landsvirkjun
Time span
  • 2013 - 2016
Service components
  • Environment engineering
  • Geographical information system (GIS)and geodes
  • Geotechnical engineering
  • Planning
  • Project planning
  • Wind energy

The project's objective

The main goal of the project was to see whether the Þjórsá and Tungnaá area is a realistic and economically feasible alternative for harnessing wind energy for future purposes.

This was done by:

  • Assessing the wind energy potential of the area with detailed wind measurements and simulations,
  • Presenting, viewing and analysing different suggestions regarding size and position of the wind farm, in order to assess costs and find the most economically feasible solution,
  • Performing the studies, research and preparatory work necessary for preliminary/project design,
  • Assessing the potentially added value of a windfarm into the power system as a whole, and the opportunities that lie in the synergy between wind- and hydropower,
  • Preparing the environmental impact assessment and identifying the need for changes in municipal plans, master plans and local plans,
  • Reviewing the legal framework, rules and regulations, both existing and work on those in need of improvement.

Environmental issues

Landsvirkjun strives to be at the forefront of environmental issues and promote sustainable development. The company emphasizes the importance of acquiring knowledge on potential environmental impacts of its operations and minimizing these impacts.

For the Windfarm in the Þjórsá and Tungnaá area, this policy was used as a guideline throughout the project in consultation and design. Additionally, EFLA's policy on environment and safety issues was also implemented and pursued during the project.

Data analysis, studies and results from EFLA's preliminary design were useful for the environmental impact assessment and for the Master Plan for Nature Protection and Energy Utilization, especially data and documents related to society, tourism, noise, visibility and shadow flicker. In addition, information and results from the geological survey, studies on building material and a summary on local natural hazards proved useful.

Efforts were made to minimize the carbon footprint of the projects. EFLA showed initiative regarding this by examining the possibility of using "green" concrete for the foundation of the turbines, that is, a more environmentally-friendly concrete. This study was executed by the Icelandic Innovation Center.

EFLA's role

This project is the first of its kind in Iceland. EFLA did everything in relation to preliminary and project design of a few different areas at Hafið and prepared that parallel to the environmental impact assessment. EFLA also prepared documents for the third phase of the Master Plan for Nature Protection and Energy Utilization.

EFLA's role in this project consisted of the following components:

  • Preliminary/project design and optimization of the size and arrangement of the wind farm within a predefined area
  • Estimation on energy production based on simulations and data analysis (from met masts and weather data)
  • Investigate the area for different turbine sizes with focus on construction and operation as well as social and environmental factors
  • Risk analysis and risk register, as well as a detailed stakeholder analysis
  • Update aerial images and detailed contour lines
  • Geological surveys and drilling to map the strata of the area
  • Studies and investigations on the building material available on/near site
  • Geological and quarry report
  • Concrete material studies and reporting, including "green" concrete
  • Inspection and design of the electrical system within the area and potential connections to the system
  • Design of foundation, roads and crane pads
  • Summary of natural hazards in the area, including icing, wind loads, ash loads, potential volcanic eruptions, floods and earthquakes
  • Summary of the main load and design criteria
  • Cost estimates and project planning
  • Planning issues
  • Environmental issues
  • Summary of data and documentation for an environmental impact assessment and the Master Plan for Nature Protection and Energy Utilization, regarding shadow flicker, visual impacts, noise, arrangement of turbines, connections to the grid, substations, roads and other infrastructure

The project's long term benefits

An environmentally-friendly option functioning as the third pillar in the foundation of Landsvirkjun's energy mix.