Here at Blenheim Palace we are enlisting the help of 2500-year-old technology to assist in powering the Estate with ‘green’ hydroelectricity.

Based on Archimedes’ ancient pump design, a 10-metre 15kW Closed Compact Archimedean Screw system is harnessing the energy from the Bladon Cascade, to supply homes within the Estate with 78,000kWh of renewable energy per year. The screw turns as the water flows through it, activating the turbine and harnessing up to 87 per cent of the energy from the falling water.

The scheme gives us savings worth in the region of £19,000 – £26,000 per year, while reducing our carbon emissions by more than 42,000 kilograms per year.

The screw was selected for its low impact on the river’s ecosystem and its efficient energy production. We have developed a side stream to improve fish spawning grounds and enhance the Bladon Dam ecosystem.