Tag Archives: power plant

LONGYEARBYEN TO SHUT COAL POWER PLANT IN 2023: Council unanimously OKs plan to temporarily switch to diesel, implement all-renewable energy supply by 2030

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Wow, that happened fast.

Shutting down Longyearbyen’s coal power plant in 2023 was unanimously approved at the most recent meeting of the municipal council, drastically accelerating a timeline that just a few years ago envisioned operating the plant for much of its remaining lifespan (possibly into the next decade). That shrunk last year to a gradual phaseout within five years and local leaders hastened plans again in February with the proposal to shut the plant in two years.

The council approved switching to diesel temporarily when the coal plant closes, and implementing an all-renewable energy supply by 2030 – a plan many residents are questioning the economic, logistical and environmental wisdom of.

MINE 7 CLOSING IN 2023: Shutdown of last Norwegian coal mine accelerated again as Longyearbyen will switch to diesel for power; production to increase for final two years

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Photo courtesy of Store Norske

The last Norwegian coal mine will cease operations in 2023 – five years sooner than an already accelerated plan envisioned just months ago – as Longyearbyen’s Community Council voted this week to shut down the town’s coal-fired power plant and temporarily switch to diesel until a permanent alternative source is determined.

As a result, Store Norske said it cannot operate Mine 7 profitably without supplying the power plant, although it will boost the mine’s production by about 30 percent until the shutdown to take advantage of current high coal prices in Europe. The shutdown will result in the loss of about 55 man-years of labor.

NEW POWER PLANT ‘WITHIN TWO TO FIVE YEARS’: Norway’s government says new climate-friendly energy facility will be in 2022 budget; fate of Mine 7 and Store Norske uncertain

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A major and accelerated transition from a coal-fueled to a climate-friendly power plant in Longyearbyen, with a new facility in the 2022 budget that is operating within two to five years, was announced Monday by Norway’s government.

The announcement, if fulfilled, means the city’s 38-year-old coal plant will shut down well before the end of its theoretical life expectancy – although it will decommissioned in phases. It also means Mine 7 will lose its essential purpose of supplying coal to the power plant, leaving uncertain the fate of the last mining operation by Store Norske and other Norwegian companies that have been the foundation of Longyearbyen’s existence for virtually all of its 115-year history.

BLACKOUTS POSSIBLE FOR A FEW DAYS: If you can read this it means the activation of a new backup power plant isn’t having a lights-out impact – but it may between now and Monday

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Sort of along the lines of “it takes money to make money,” the city’s spending the next few days improving the reliability of backup power sources if the main coal-fired facility suffers an outages – but until then it may mean more “dark times” during these continuous and cold December polar nights.

Burning curiosity: Kids, researchers and dozens of others get a charge out of tours at Longyearbyen’s power plant

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Erik Haukalid, 6, is already an expert when it comes to energy production. But it’s still tough explaining in words what’s going on inside that giant building constantly emitting smoke.

“He has seen this large building and he is wondering what this is,” said his father, Snorre, a cultural heritage advisor for The Governor of Svalbard, shortly before joining a group of about a dozen others Saturday for a tour of Longyearbyen’s coal-fired power plant.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of March 22, 2016

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Low-quality diesel a threat to cars; new fuel offered free
Vehicles filled with diesel between Feb. 19. and March 17 are at risk of engine failure due to low-quality fuel meant for boats being delivered to Svalbard Auto, according to Frank Jakobsen, administrative director of LNS Spitsbergen.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Aug. 4, 2015

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There will be a discussion about ‘neger’ names, after all
Now that it’s gotten worldwide attention, a discussion about whether Svalbard has three locations with racist names is planned this fall by the Norwegian Polar Institute’s naming committee.