Queen of the Dammed
British royals to bolster green rep with efficient mini-hydro plant
On Friday, a local U.K. council approved Queen Elizabeth’s plan to build a mini hydroelectric power plant dedicated to Windsor Castle. The energy-efficient four-turbine plant on the River Thames is expected to supply enough electricity to keep about a third of the castle juiced. It’ll be the largest of its kind in the South of England, but designed to minimize ecological and visual impacts to the river. Enviros lauded Her Royal Highness for setting a good green example: “We’re delighted that the queen is taking a lead in the use of green electricity to help to tackle global warming. It highlights the massive potential for small-scale micro-generation systems within the U.K.,” said Friends of the Earth. This is just one of many green efforts by the British royals: Buckingham Palace uses energy-efficient light bulbs and recycles 99 percent of organic waste, while Prince Charles is a noted fan of organic agriculture and critic of genetic modification.