Hellisheidi Geothermal Plant is situated at the Hengill area, an active volcanic ridge in SW Iceland connected with three volcanic systems. At least three volcanic eruptions have occurred in the Hengill area in the last 11,000 years, the most recent being 2,000 years ago. The Hengill area is part of the Hengill region, which covers 112 square kilometers and is one of the most extensive geothermal areas in Iceland.
Hellisheidi Geothermal Plant purpose is to meet increasing demand for electricity and hot water for space heating in the industrial and domestic sectors. Production capacity is 303 MW electricity and 133 MW thermal energy.
Of the six geothermal power plants in Iceland, Hellisheiði (pronounced “het-li-shay-thee”) is the newest and largest. Hellisheiði Power Plant is situated in the Hengill area in South West Iceland and provides electricity and hot water for space heating in the industrial and domestic sectors in Iceland.
To access the potential energy under the surface, wells are drilled thousands of metres into the ground, penetrating reservoirs of pressurised water. Heated by the Earth’s energy, this water can be more than 300°C in temperature, and when released it boils up from the well, turning partly to steam on its way. At Hellisheiði, the steam is separated from the water to power some of the plant’s seven turbines, while the remaining water is further depressurised to create more steam, used to power other turbines.