Britan’s Queen Elizabeth II will soon reign from the world’s largest occupied castle run, in part, by hydroelectric power. Windsor Castle, one of Her Majesty’s royal residences, is scheduled to use green electricity by the end of the year. A four-turbine, hydroelectric plant will be the biggest of its kind in southern England, generating 200 kilowatts–about a third of the energy required to power the castle. The plant is designed to be virtually silent with minimal visual impact on the Thames River.
A similar hydro project is planned for Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where the electricity will be used for the royal residence and potentially 1,000 area homes.
Prince Charles, heir to the throne, is a frequent champion of environmental causes. A number of eco-conscious projects are already in place at Buckingham Palace, including a bore hole that provides water for air conditioning in the queen’s gallery and regulates the palace lake’s water levels. Energy efficiency is carefully managed inside the palace, and 99 percent of the greens from the queen’s gardens are recycled as mulch.