Aldeyjarfoss waterfall, considered one of the country’s most beautiful waterfalls, not least because of its stunning columnar basalt formations, would dry up completely if the proposed Fljótshnúkur Power Plant were constructed. The plant would be located in the river Skjálfandafljót at Fljótshnúkur mountain and estimated power output is 58 MW.
Fljótshnúkur Power Plant
- Fljótshnúkur Power Plant
The river Skjálfandi flows out of Vonarskarđ canyon north to the gulf of Skjálfandaflói. Spectacular natural phenomena lie within the drainage basin of the river Skjálfandi, including the waterfalls Gođafoss, Ingvararfoss, Hrafnabjargafoss and Aldeyjarfoss. Other treasures include Laufrönd and Neđribotnar, Ţingey, Skuldaţingsey, wetlands at Sandur and Sílalćkur in Ađaldalur valley, the Gćsavötn lakes at Gćsahnjúkur, the Tungnafellsjökull glacier and the aforementioned Vonarskarđ canyon.
Three proposals have been made for power plant construction along the river Skjalfandi, namely the Eyjadalsá Power Plant, the Fljótshnúkur Power Plant and the Hrafnabjörg Power Plant A. Experts working for the 2nd phase of the Master Plan for Hydro and Geothermal Energy Resources termed the river Skjálfandi among Iceland‘s most valuable areas for its scenery and natural expanses. The conservation of the entire river, from its origin to the river delta, is highly desirable.
Protected sites in the area include Ţingey, Skuldaţingsey, Hrauntunga, Hofgarđur and an unnamed farmstead at Fiskiá.
Two islands in the river Skjálfandi, Ţingey and Skuldaţingsey, are ancient thingsteads where public assemblies were held. They are counted among Iceland‘s most interesting and best conserved archeological sites, and vestiges of numerous ancient encampments are still visible today.
Bárđargata, one of Iceland‘s most famous travel routes, runs through the area and has recently regained some of its popularity with hikers.
A number of endangered animal species are found in the area, including the gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus), which nests in the area, and the snowy owl (Bubo scandiacus) in Laufrönd.
The proposed 58 MW Fljótshnúkur Power Plant would entail the damming of the river Skjálfandi and the creation of a reservoir west of Steinfell mountain, approximately 5 km south of Laufrönd.
Construction of either the Fljótshnúkur Power Plant or the Hrafnabjörg Power Plant would cause the renowned Aldeyjarfoss waterfall to dry up. The waterfall is considered one of Iceland‘s most beautiful waterfalls, with its spectacular columnar basalt formations.