Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The Queen's hydro energy scheme slots into place

Environment Agency confirms UK's largest hydropower scheme has been installed in the River Thames near Windsor Castle

Two golden Archimedes Screws have been hoisted into the River Thames as part of a major hydropower project that will supply Windsor Castle with green energy.

The 40-tonne devices were installed in the Romney Weir this week as part of a £1.7m project developed by Southeast Power Engineering and financed by Summit Asset Management.

Once completed, the project will be the largest of its kind in the UK, supplying 300kw of electricity an hour and providing Windsor Castle with half of the electricity it requires under a Power Purchase Agreement with the Royal Household.

"[We are] constantly looking at new ways of saving and supplying energy so as to remain as environmentally friendly as possible well into the future," said the deputy treasurer at the Royal Household. Any surplus electricity will be sold back to the National Grid by Southeast Power for use in homes in Windsor.
The Environment Agency, which approved the scheme, said that local Eton residents had chosen the golden brown colour for the two devices, which were made by Netherlands-based Landustrie.

Steve Naylor, hydropower lead for the Environment Agency, told BusinessGreen that the project is slated to be commissioned in February, two months later than planned because of some minor delays brought on by the unprecedented scale of the project and the unusual location.

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