Krafla geothermal power stationLocal sightseeing and tourism
Krafla‘s location near Lake Myvatn makes it an ideal stopping place for travelers in north Iceland. Just above the station is a popular hiking area including the recent lava field around "Leirhnjukur" and the explosion crater "Viti" (Hell), both popular sightseeing attractions. A reception room has been set up at the Krafla Station where visitors can find out about its history and the harnessing of geothermal energy for electricity production. At the Krafla Visitor Center you will find information on geothermal energy and on the station’s electricity production. Also, the company of "Landsvirkjun" and Iceland’s energy production are introduced in general, and visitors can view a film about the Krafla eruptions.
The Krafla Visitor Center is open from 12:30-3:30 p.m. on weekdays and 1-5 on weekends.
Outdoor recreation and tourism
Just above and north of the station, popular walking trails lead through the vicinity of and the explosion crater "Viti" (“hell”). A short round trail goes around the mar (crater) "Viti" dating from 1724, to a hot spring area east of the mar, where caution is needed. This route is about a half an hour's easy walk.
The power station
Krafla in north Iceland is "Landsvirkjun‘s" main geothermal power station. "Landsvirkjun" operates an other geothermal utility, at "Bjarnarflag", with an installed capacity of only 3 MW.
From the outset, Krafla was in the public eye in Iceland, with much political controversy surrounding its construction. For a while it was uncertain whether Krafla would ever actually enter operation, when large-scale volcanic eruptions started only two kilometers away from the station, posing a serious threat to its existence. Work continued, however, and the station went on stream early in 1977. Krafla‘s colorful history makes it one of the best-known power stations in Iceland. An average of 20 employees work at the station, plus site maintenance teams in summer. In 1996, "Landsvirkjun" decided to install a second turbine unit and prospect for steam for it. Drilling began immediately using improved technology which proved highly successful both for developing new boreholes and upgrading existing ones. Some 33 boreholes have now been drilled for the Krafla station and the extension is complete. On average, 15-17 boreholes are used at any time and the station now operates with an installed capacity of 60 MW, as originally planned.