Our fourth day started with a visit to the Ljósafoss hydropower plant owned by Landsvirjkun (local Fortum). The plant started electricity production in 1937, when the plant had two turbines with a combined power of 8.8 MW. In 1944, a third turbine with a power of 6.6 MW was installed. The plant is therefore quite small in terms of power. Iceland has great amount of hydropower overall. This makes it rather easy for Iceland to balance the electricity production and consumption because hydropower plants can adjust their output power really quickly.
We had a reserved tour with the plant manager at 11:00. However, there had been a double reservation and the manager had another tour ongoing when we arrived, so we had to explore the hydropower plant by ourselves. The power station had a very nice visitor center, which told about the history of electricity production and the current situation of the electricity production in Iceland and world overall. The visitor center was meant at people who have no previous experience in the energy sector, so it was good for us. Annukka commented that she was involved in a project in Finland where a similar visitor center was made for Heureka. We have now seen two visitor centers in Iceland and both have been very nice and simplified in a good way. Finnish companies could learn something from Icelandic companies and their visitor centers.
After visiting the power station, we went on a whale trip. Due to the changed schedule, we had time to get more familiar with the city of Reykjavik before the trip. A few of us bought an Icelandic wool sweater as we all had learned the Icelandic weather. All the warm garments were worth the money as we headed towards the Atlantic Ocean. We had already experienced a rainstorm in the city, and together with a strong wind, wetness and cold were present at the beginning of the journey on the sea. There were also some big waves at the sea, but we survived without feeling too unwell.
Unfortunately, we did not see any whales, but we did enjoy the sunshine and fair wind the rest of the way. Also we did get to see a few dolphins and puffins which some of us had on their bucket list. There were a few ocean liners in the area. Perhaps the radars of the large ships had scared the whales away. In general, however, many of us were waiting for a warm shower after the trip. After we got back to the hotel, everyone was ready to get some sleep before new adventures of the next day…