Queen Elizabeth has given the go-ahead to power Windsor Castle by hydroelectricity.

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The 85-year-old monarch’s home took delivery of two giant hydroelectric turbines yesterday (07.08.11) in the hope they can switch to powering the royal residence using economic sustainable energy.

The 40-tonne Archimedean Screws turbines were put in place by crane at Romney Weir on the River Thames, just a few miles away from the castle in Southern England.

The turbines, supplied by Southeast Power Engineering Ltd, will be ready to operate from November.

It is estimated the screws will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 790,000 kilos per year.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: “I can confirm that the royal household now has an agreement in place to purchase the energy generated by the hydro scheme.

“We have been looking at this for a number of years*. It is one of a number of green initiatives introduced at royal residences by the queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.”

Palace sources say they are uncertain whether they will be able to power the castle entirely by green electricity immediately, but hope to make a significant step toward it by next year.

* At least seven years, going by the date in this archived LondonNet report.