RARIK (Iceland State Electricity) was established on 2nd April, 1946, and started operations in January the following year. RARIK has worked on developing various power projects throughout Iceland, such as the electrification of rural areas and interconnecting districts with high voltage system. RARIK also laid extensive system of transmission lines between the country’s various regions, constructing an integrated power grid stretching around all of Iceland. RARIK has been the leading force behind these developments, and thanks to the extensive interconnected power grid, the whole country can now benefit from every harnessed hydro-electric or geothermal power source.

The history of RARIK is closely connected to the republic’s own history, as electrical and industrial development went hand in hand in Iceland. By devoting its energy to building an electric power transmission and distribution system for the country’s rural as well as urban areas, RARIK has played an important role in the development of individual regions in Iceland.

RARIK ltd, a corporation owned by the government, was established August 1st 2006. It then took over management of The State Electric Power Works.

On establishment the company’s main objective was to procure sufficient electrical power to the general public and industries in a favourable manor. The company has had an important role to play in procuring, distributing and selling electric power.

With the onset of new energy laws in 2003 and privatization and monopoly regulations it was decided to establish a subsidiary, Orkusalan. Orkusalan’s principal function is to generate and sell electric energy on RARIK’s behalf. Orkusalan, 99.8% of which is owned by RARIK ohf, was founded in the beginning of 2007. It manages 5 power plants, the Rjúkanda power plant, the Skeiðfoss power plant, the Grímsárs power plant, the Lagarfoss power plant and the Smyrlabjarga power plant. The total capacity of these power plants is 36 MW, the Lagarfoss power plant being the largest. The company’s shares in power plants are worth 6 billion ISK.

With changes in electric power laws RARIK quit selling electricity. Landsnet hf was established on January 1st 2005, it’s primary role being transmission of electricity in the country. A majority of RARIK’s main line system was sold to Landsnet hf. RARIK now owns a 22% share in the company.


Tryggvi Þór Haraldsson

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