Interview with Kristin Vala Matthiasdottir

Tell us about yourself.

Chemical engineer. 36 years old. A wife and a mother of three boys.
As a VP of Resource Park, my main responsibilities are maintaining balance in our resource. That involves reservoir management, monitoring and modelling. In addition, I work with my team on assessing availability of resource streams to expand and strengthen our Resource Park and fulfill our ideology: there is nothing that can be called waste!

Tell us about your organisation

HS Orka has been a leading company in production of renewable energy for over 40 years. We operate two geothermal power plants, at Svartsengi with installed capacity of 74 MW electricity and 190 MW of thermal power and a 100 MW plant at Reykjanes. HS Orka core operations are in the production of electricity and hot water. HS Orka is the heartbeat of a Resource Park where excess resource streams are used by an incredibly varied range of businesses, such as the Blue Lagoon, cosmetics manufacturers, biotechnology companies, fish drying facilities, renewable methanol production and aquaculture.

HS Orka has 60 employees with a broad range of background: i.e. geology, reservoir engineering, civil
engineering, technology, mechanical theory, electrical engineering, motor mechanics, business administration, etc. However, more than 1000 jobs can be directly attributed to HS Orka’s Resource Park, in addition to other derived jobs. Jobs extremely valuable for the local community.

The object of the Resource Park is to foster a “society without waste” and to ensure that all resource streams that flow to and from the companies in the Park are utilized to the fullest extent, in as responsible a manner as possible, for the benefit and further progress of the community. The Resource Park is unique, it heralds the future, new ways of thinking and encourages even further development of increased and more efficient utilization of what the geothermal plants produce.

What makes Geothermal so great?

For a country like Iceland, an island far north in the Atlantic Ocean, with long and cold winters the
geothermal resource is privilege. Geothermal energy is a clean, renewable resource. Heat flows constantly from the earth’s interior and will continue to radiate for billions of years to come, ensuring an inexhaustible supply of viable energy. During the 20th century, Iceland went from being one of Europe’s poorest countries, dependent upon peat and imported coal for its energy, to a country
with a high standard of living where practically all stationary energy is derived from renewable resources.

In 2015, roughly 85% of primary energy use in Iceland came from indigenous renewable resources. There of 66% was from geothermal. The geothermal energy has played an important role in the lives of Icelanders, improving the quality of lives.

What makes IGA so great?

At IGA, we represent companies, organizations and associations that are part of the geothermal energy industry. We embody a wide variety of members ranging from academy, industry developers and other supporters. We want to provide our members with the most up-to-date information on what is going on in the geothermal industry worldwide and provide a gateway and connection to the Global Geothermal Community.