| Laxa Hydro
The River Laxa is one of Iceland’s major salmon rivers and in many quarters simply called the "Big Laxa". It is Iceland’s second greatest spring fed river and originates in the famous bird haven of lake Myvatn. The River was first harnessed on the initiative of the Town of Akureyri in order to fulfill its own electricity requirements. In 1950, the State joined Akureyri as co-owner of Laxa Power Company. The Laxa Power Company played a key role in electrification of north Iceland and provides electricity for a large part of the area. Laxa Power Company merged with Landsvirkjun in 1983.
The Laxa River has been harnessed at three power stations with a combined installed capacity of 28 MW
Laxa Station I
The 5 MW Laxa I Station is the oldest hydro power development on the River Laxa. From a dam at the upper end of a canyon, the water is directed down a head of 39 m, first through a tunnel and then through a wooden pen stock to the powerhouse, over a distance of 670 m. The first generating unit was commissioned in 1939 and the second one in 1944.
Laxa Station II
The 9 MW Laxa II Station utilizes the lower head in the same canyon as Laxa I. The river is dammed 300 m below the Laxa I powerhouse. From there, the water is directed through a wooden pen stock to a surge tank, then through a steel pipe to the powerhouse, over a total distance of 380 m. The head measures 29 m and the station is equipped with one generating unit, commissioned in 1953.
Laxa Station III
The 13.5 MW Laxa III Station is the most recent hydro power development on the River Laxa. It utilizes the same dam as Laxa I, diverting water from the dam through a tunnel east of the river to a powerhouse 60 m inside the canyon wall, close to the Laxa I powerhouse, then through a tail race back out to the river. The station is equipped with one generating unit which was commissioned in 1973. In 1993, the turbine water wheel was upgraded, increasing its capacity from 9 MW to 13.5 MW.