West Dale Bay near Milford Haven is to get a rather appropriately named Wave Dragon tidal power station.
The floating units are moored to the sea bed but are able to adjust their position to the on-coming wave direction.
Water is channelled into a reservoir above sea level. It is then released through a number of turbines to generate electricity in the same way as hydro-electric power plants work.
Following the news that Windsor is to get a micro-hydropower system, other mill owners are interested in jumping on the bandwagon. Micro-hydro is a far better use of water power than major damming plans. It won’t create huge new methane producing bodies of standing water and it will generally be generating power very close to the point of use. Plus, old mills are cool and ought to be kept working in one way or another.
Mr White is a town councillor in Gillingham, Kent. It was his idea to get the mill owners together, and he believes small hydroprojects can make a big contribution to Britain’s green energy needs. There are thousands of existing and former mill sites in the UK suitable for generating electricity, and if all were used they could provide almost 10% of the country’s power.
Mr White, who does not have a mill himself, had read of the rows about wind power that have split communities.
“It seemed to me that hydropower has all the advantages, it gives new life and use to these historic sites and buildings, and produces green energy – and everyone is in favour,” he said.
A spokeswoman for the Queen said: “We’re constantly looking at ways of saving energy. We use energy efficient light bulbs at Buckingham Palace and recycle 99 per cent of green waste.”
Members of the Royal Family have long embraced an environmentally friendly lifestyle. The Duke of Edinburgh uses a taxi cab fuelled by liquid petroleum gas to travel around London, and water in a bore hole at Buckingham Palace is used to supply air conditioning to the Queen’s gallery before topping up the water levels in the Palace lake.
The electricity from the new plant will be fed straight into Windsor Castle and not into the local grid. It will be the biggest of its kind in the South of England. Four turbines, which will be built by npower renewables, will be submerged in two of Romney Weir’s bays.
The British Hydropower Association– “Protecting The Environment By Promoting The Use Of Water Power And The British HydroPower Industry”