Q: How can we visit energy plants and factories in Iceland?
We have traveled to Iceland many times (19 times) in the past to view the country’s nature.
This time we would like to visit factories (fish, other food, steel etc.) and power plants. We read that it is possible to do that.
A: Several energy plants in Iceland have visitor exhibitions, including the Hellisheiði Geothermal Energy Plant , where experienced guides are on-hand to provide informative presentations backed by multimedia shows about sustainable energy.
You can also visit Búrfellsvirkjun hydroelectric station, located in South Iceland, about an hour-and-a-half’s drive from Reykjavík, where you can take part in an interactive exhibition on the construction and functional capabilities of the power plant. You can also take a peek into the powerhouse itself where you can witness the water turbines in action.
Down the road you can visit two wind turbines—two of just a handful in Iceland—erected in Búrfell for research purposes in 2012. The turbines are between 70 to 80 meters in height with the blades spanning 110 meters (360 feet).
In the Mývatn area, North Iceland, visitors can take a pit-stop at Krafla Power Station and learn more about the internal workings of the geothermal station.
Tours are also available over the summer by request at Kárahnjúkavirkjun, a hydropower plant in the highlands just north of Vatnajökull, East Iceland.
The greenhouses at Friðheimar, South Iceland, where tomatoes and cucumbers are grown, are also open to groups of ten or more or as part of pre-booked tours.
I’m not aware of any aluminum plants having visitor centers and due to health and safety reasons, it is unlikely that you will be able to visit them.
You can visit the salt fish museum in Grindavík as well as Stakkavít fish factory, also in Grindavík, and you could try stopping at other fish processing facilities while you’re traveling in Iceland and asking whether it is a possibility. Alternatively, if you haven’t already visited the Herring Era Museum in Siglufjörður, which provides insight into the herring industry back in the days, perhaps you could try that.
At Síldarævintýri, also in Siglufjörður, during Verslunarmannahelgi the old-fashioned processing of herring is demonstrated.
Árbær Museum in Reykjavík also has similar demonstrations.
It is also possible to visit Gestastofa Sútarans, a tannery in Sauðárkrókur.
At Erpsstaðir in West Iceland, Kaffi Kú in Eyjafjörður and Vogafjós in the Mývatn area visitors can look into the cowshed and observe how cows are milked.
Kaffi Kú is part of a culinary tour, where a fish processor in Hauganes and a microbrewery in Árskógssandur is visited, among other workplaces.