Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Feb. 2, 2021


Svea loans 18-ton power supply to Svalbard Airport to cope with electrical system failure (above photo of power supply being unloaded in Longyearbyen courtesy of Avinor), 41 applications seek a share of 25 million kroner in emergency COVID-19 tourism aid and the city applies for funding for a pilot project to see if Longyearbyen’s electric cars can contribute to the town’s power grid.

Generator fails at Svalbard Airport; Svea loans 18-ton power supply
Svalbard Airport lost power after scheduled flights departed Friday afternoon when the control system for the facility’s two generators failed, but an emergency solution allowing Sunday’s flights to operate as scheduled was provided thanks to the ongoing dismantling of the Svea mining settlement Store Norske quickly offered the use an 18-ton power supply at the mine 100 nautical miles from the airport, which was transported to Longyearbyen aboard The Governor of Svalbard’s Polarsyssel vessel. Among those who arrived on Sunday’s Scandinavian Airlines flight: a repair technician from the company supplying the airport’s power system.

41 apply for 25M kr. in COVID-19 funds for new Svalbard tourism projects
A total of 41 applicants are seeking a share of a highly-promoted 25 million kroner emergency COVID-19 aid fund for Svalbard’s decimated tourism industry. The fund, intended for new rather than existing offerings or to compensate for losses, will be allocated for reconstruction, restructuring and development projects, said Lennarth Kvernmo, head of the business and industrial agency for Longyearbyen’s municipal government. He said coordination with other agencies and sources of funding will also be a key in evaluating how to award funding. An announcement of who will receive funds is expected in March.

Can electric cars generate local power as well as consume it?
Electric cars don’t necessarily just use electricity – it may also be possible to use them as source of power, according to the Longyearbyen Community Council which is applying for 700,000 grant from Norwegian Environmental Agency to support a pilot project for that purpose.  A designated car park in Longyearbyen is expected to be the primary location where electric vehicle can charge. The grant would fund a two-way charging system implemented by the Swedish Energy Agency where vehicles could also be used to generate and store power in the city’s main electrical grid. The city is also applying for two other grants from the environmental agency: 400,000 kroner to increase reuse and repair of clothing and other goods, and 350,000 kroner for a preliminary project involving climate-related measures for the rehabilitation of Svalbardhallen.