HomeThis week in historySunless Norway town installed mirrors to direct sunlight in winter

Sunless Norway town installed mirrors to direct sunlight in winter


The remote Norwegian town of Rjukan has no natural sunlight for 7 months of the year. During winter on the 30th of October 2013 this all changed. The tiny town of 3,386 people (Jan. 2007) installed a series of three mirrors to direct sunlight to the centre of the town. The mirrors were installed 450m on a mountain above the town, and measured in at 17m2 each, whilst being fully solar-powered.

The city of Rjukan was built by its founder and entrepreneur Sam Eyde between 1905 and 1916 to house hydroelectric power plant. Eyde dreamed of installing giant mirrors back then to provide sunlight to his factory workers. Whilst he could not bring the sunlight to them, he did install a gondola lift to take citizens to the mountain to get their dose of vitamin D.  It would be around 100 years later that Eyde’s dreams of giant mirrors would be realised by the mayor of Rjukan, Steinar Bergsland.

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