Successful Commissioning of Voith Machines: Inauguration of Budarhals Hydropower Plant


Voith successfully concluded its work at Budarhals hydropower plant in Iceland. Voith and Landsvirkjun, the National power company in Iceland, celebrated together the inauguration of the project. The Budarhals hydropower plant will run with an installed capacity of 95 megawatts and an energy generating capacity of estimated 585 GWh annually.

Successful Commissioning of Voith Machines: Inauguration of Budarhals Hydropower Plant

The construction site of Budarhals, Iceland. Copy-right: Landsvirkjun

Voith supplied and installed two Kaplan turbines with modern environmentally friendly design and water filled runner hubs, as well as generators with latest state-of-the-art technology using brushless thyristor controlled exciters developed by the company. The total scope of supply for Voith includes, next to the main parts of the electromechanical equipment, the powerhouse cranes and station control systems.

“Landsvirkjun made an agreement with Voith to supply all machinery and electrical equipment for the Budarhals hydropower plant in April 2010”, says Gudlaugur Thorarinsson, project manager at Landsvirkjun for Budarhals. “All of Voith’s work in this project has been diligently completed despite harsh winter weathers and ambitious time schedule. Landsvirkjun is very satisfied with the performance of Voith.”

The project represents a successful continuation of the long business activity by Voith in Iceland. The company carried out the first full turbine installation at the power plant of Fjardarsels in 1912, which has a capacity of 550 kW, is driven by a horizontal Francis turbine and it is the oldest power plant still in operation in Iceland.

The first project design for the Budarhals hydropower plant was conducted by Landsvirkjun in 1989 and later developed to the present design. Budarhals was the first major infrastructure project built after the economic and financial crisis has significantly hit Iceland in 2008. The attractive financing structured by Voith Financial Services was an important support as it helped Landsvirkjun in financing the project.

According to the “World Atlas Hydropower & Dam 2013”, Iceland uses almost 100 percent renewable energy. With Budarhals, there is a total installed hydro capacity of 1,980 megawatts in the country. In 2011, hydropower plants generated 12,507 GWh, contributing about 73 percent to the national electricity production. It would be technically and economically feasible to more than double the installed hydro capacity in Iceland. For future developments, the Government of Iceland published “The Master Plan for Hydro and Geothermal Energy and Resources in Iceland” in 2011. This plan will provide an overview of the options available for future power development in the country.

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