Residents in Rjukan, a Norwegian industrial town nestled in a narrow valley in central Norway, will get some sunlight on the town square from this September, breaking a history of over 100 years of having no sunlight in winter.
If everything goes as planned, sunlight will be beamed onto the square in front of the town hall from the three mirrors erected 450 metres high on the mountainside.
The installation of the mirrors, which began on July 1, 2013, has already been completed. On Monday, workers and technicians were giving the five-million-kroner project a final touch.
For decades, residents of Rjukan, which is part of the Tinn municipality, the Telemark county, have been using the nearby cable car Krossobanen to get to the mountain top for sunshine in wintertime.
Karin Roe, chief of the Rjukan tourist office, said that people in the town will continue to use cable cars in winter although activities on the square are expected to increase.
The idea of building a huge mirror to reflect sunlight onto the town was almost as old as the town.
When he started to build the town in 1907, Sam Eyde, a co-founder of the Norwegian industrial giant Norsk Hydro, took to his heart the idea so that workers could have some sunlight in wintertime, said Rune Loedoeen, chief of the town.
“But at that time, we did not have the technology. So instead a cable car was built for the purpose,” said Loedoeen.
After five years of debate, the town council finally came up with a decision this year to invest 5 million Norwegian kroner (Rs 5 crore) to build the mirrors.
Rs 5 cr Cost of installing three 450-metre high mirrors