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National Trust’s first hydroelectric turbine switched on

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The UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey was present at the National Trust’s switch on of the first Archimedes screw hydroelectric turbine in South west London’s Morden Hall Park.

The turbine acts like a water wheel to generate electricity from the river Wandle, and will produce around 59,000 kWh a year to power the Park’s visitor centre. The building will be the most energy efficient historic building in the country when it’s completed and it features three different sorts of solar panels, an air source heating pump and a wood burning stove.

Mackley Construction and Hallidays Hydropower installed the Archimedes screw as one of the last stages of a £990,000 restoration funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust and Thames Water helped support the costs of the turbine.

Davey congratulated the Trust on the project, saying:
“It’s great to see the National Trust getting on board with clean, green power with the launch of the hydro power turbine at Morden Hall. Not only will this new kit power Morden’s visitor centre, the project will help educate visitors on this type of energy and renewable energy too.”

The project is part of the Trust’s ongoing bid to use greener energy on its portfolio of properties around the country, cutting its fossil fuel use in half by 2020.

There will be a tour of the Archimedes Screw available for visitors to the Park, an exhibition about sustainable green living called ‘Livinggreen’ in the Victorian stable yard and water- saving eco loos.

“This is an innovative and exemplary approach to restoration, conservation and interpretation,” says Wesley Kerr, chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund for London. “The addition of the Archimedes Screw to the restored historic features of Morden Hall Park makes this a genuinely sustainable ‘deep green’ heritage project.”

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