Utsira

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Utsira kommune
Municipality
Utsira hamn.jpg
Coat of arms of Utsira kommune
Coat of arms
Official logo of Utsira kommune
Rogaland within
Norway
Utsira within Rogaland
Utsira within Rogaland
Coordinates: 59°18′26″N 4°53′10″E / 59.30722°N 4.88611°E / 59.30722; 4.88611Coordinates: 59°18′26″N 4°53′10″E / 59.30722°N 4.88611°E / 59.30722; 4.88611
Country Norway
County Rogaland
District Haugaland
Administrative centre Utsira
Government
 • Mayor (2005) Geir Helge Rasmussen (Bygdalista for Utsira)
Area
 • Total 6 km2 (2 sq mi)
 • Land 6 km2 (2 sq mi)
Area rank 433 in Norway
Population (2008)
 • Total 212
 • Rank 430 in Norway
 • Density 34/km2 (90/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years) -0.9 %
Demonym Sirabu[1]
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code NO-1151
Official language form Neutral
Website www.utsira.kommune.no
Data from Statistics Norway

Utsira is a municipality in Rogaland county, Norway. It is part of the traditional district of Haugaland. Utsira was separated from Torvastad on 1 July 1924.

The municipality consists of an island located in the North Sea, 18 km west of Haugesund. Utsira is the smallest municipality of Norway in population and the second smallest in area (after Kvitsøy).

General information[edit]

Name[edit]

The Old Norse forms of the name was just Síri (nominative) and Síra (genitive). The first element ut (meaning "out" or "offshore": compare the "Out Skerries" in Shetland) was added in the 16th Century. (Sira is also the name of the border river between Rogaland and Vest-Agder.) The inhabitants still call the island just Sira and an inhabitant is called a sirabu. The meaning of the name Sira is unknown (maybe "strong stream").

Before 1875 the name was written "Udsire", in the period 1875–1924 "Utsire", from 1925 on "Utsira".

Coat-of-arms[edit]

The coat-of-arms is from modern times. They were granted on 23 July 1982. The arms show the light beams emerging from the local lighthouse. The lighthouse was founded in 1844 and is one of the main landmarks on the municipality.[2]

History[edit]

The Utsira church is from 1785. There are remains from the Stone Age on the island.

Utsira was separated from Torvastad on 1 July 1924 and a new council was required. It was intended that the twelve men on the interim council would be elected but the official list of candidates listed eleven women and a man. This was not known to even the people involved until the day of the election and by then it was too late. Despite a legal challenge the twelve were elected and Aasa Helgesen, the local midwife, was elected the first Mayor of Utsira and the first female mayor in Norway. Helgesen was a successful Mayor until 1928.[3]

Utsira fyr78 2m.JPG

The highest Lighthouse light in Norway, at 78.2 metres (257 ft) AMSL, resides at Utsira.

In 2004, Norsk Hydro installed a combined wind-hydrogen utility on Utsira. It is a full scale pilot project for energy self-sufficiency for a remote community. In periods when there is surplus wind energy, the excess power will be used for generating hydrogen by electrolysis. The hydrogen is stored, and is available for power generation in periods where there is little wind. Additional to this an energy storing flywheel exists to help out when for a short time more power is needed.

Birding[edit]

Utsira is known as the best birding site in Norway. There have been 317 different species recorded on Utsira, of which 23 are new to Norway.

Shipping Forecast[edit]

Utsira (under the spelling Utsire) gives its name to North Utsire and South Utsire, two of the sea areas of the British Shipping Forecast.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Personnemningar til stadnamn i Noreg" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. 
  2. ^ Norske Kommunevåpen (1990). "Nye kommunevåbener i Norden". Retrieved 12 October 2008. 
  3. ^ Siri Baastad (15 December 1999) Jordmor Helgesens «skjørteregime» (Norwegian) Kommunal Rapport. Retrieved 20 February 2014

External links[edit]