Vestmannaeyjar to use several types of renewable energy, Iceland

The islands of Vestmannaeyjar are trying new alternatives for energy sources. The goal is to become more independent from the mainland power and use energy in a more efficient way. Vestmannaeyjar is a cluster of small islands which has a population of about 4 100 people. The electricity to the islands comes from the mainland through two submarine cables which are led to a substation in the islands.

A central heat pumping station on the island has a few water pumps that each pump 6-700 liters of 6-11 ° C hot seawater in a cooling distillation unit. The energy generated by the cooling is transferred to a second heat exchanger, which heats the water meant for central house heating. During this process steam is produced with an electrode boiler and the water is heated by the steam. The main advantage of the heat pump using the seawater method is the electrical savings it can achieve. Using other methods would require more electricity.

The place also almost entirely economically depends on the fishing industry. The large proportion of the annual fishing catches are made from Vestmannaeyjar. The fishing industry has in many ways been a leading industry in getting down their CO2 emissions and the fishing companies in Vestmannaeyjar are among the largest in that sector.

One more initiative in Vestmannaeyjar is an electrical ferry. The government and the transport authorities decided that it can be an idea for transportation between Vestmannaeyjar and the mainland. So, the “Herjólfur” electric ferry goes on electricity between Landeyjahöfn in the South of Iceland and Vestmannaeyjar.

Equipment is being installed at both locations to charge the ferry ashore with electricity. There are also on-board machines that normally load the ship's batteries, which then propels the propellers. The ferry is a hybrid ferry or a plug-in ferry. This means that it will be able to sail on electricity or diesel or a combination of both. It is stated that the extra cost of making the ferry able to sail exclusively on electricity will pay off in 10 years because of saving in fossil fuel.

Keywords: carbon neutral, sustainability, electricity, ferry, sailing, transport, efficiency, independence, innovation, water pumps, fishing industry, Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland