Small hydro comes to England's Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace

England's Blenheim Palace is taking a cue from Windsor Castle in embracing small hydro power.

The estate will soon be home to a US$280,000 Archimedes Screw turbine from British renewables firm Hallidays Hydropower that will produce around 60,000 kWh of energy per year.

The turbine will draw water from the River Glyme at Bladon Dam, located on the Blenheim Palace grounds.

The turbine is expected to generate an income of about $19,500 per year under the United Kingdom's Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme while saving Blenheim Palace an estimated $8,900 per year in power costs.

Blenheim Palace is already home to a number of renewable generating sources, including solar panels and geothermal heat pumps. The addition of the Archimedes Screw will more than triple the estate's current renewable capacity, however, and there are plans to install a second unit in 2014.

"Micro hydro is set to play a starring role in our drive for energy independence, efficiency and environmental performance," property director Roger File told British news sources. "It's an exciting time to be investing in renewables. It makes sense environmentally and financially."

HydroWorld.com reported earlier this year that a similar project at Windsor Castle had been delayed due to high water levels in the River Thames.

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