the-queen-balmoral

The Queen's holiday home Balmoral Estate is about to get a big update

And you could visit the Castle yourself

Bridie Wilkins

The Queen has officially won a battle against environmentalists to build a hydroelectric turbine on her holiday home, Balmoral Estate in Scotland and, outside of coronavirus circumstances, it is usually open to the public from 1 April to 31 July for you to see for yourself.

SEE: Inside the Queen's Scottish residence Balmoral Castle

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Balmoral Estate is home to Balmoral Castle, as well as Craigowan Lodge and Birkhall

The turbine will feature a two-megawatt generator on the River Muick, which runs through the estate where she spends her extended summer break with the Duke of Edinburgh, and will generate up to £650,000 of green power a year to make the property entirely self-sufficient. Any surplus electricity will be sold on to the National Grid. Her Majesty's plans were originally objected to in 2018 after environmentalists claimed it would be too noisy for woodland creatures in the area, and she has been fighting to get them approved ever since.

Louise Cunningham, a spokeswoman for Aberdeenshire Council's Environmental Team who halted the proposals said in planning documents: "Typically, hydropower turbines can emit significant amounts of noise. The noise information currently provided in the Environmental Statement offers no measurements of the current background noise nor any site-specific predictions."

SEE: Take a tour of the Queen's second home Windsor Castle

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Windsor Castle is also powered by hydroelectricity

However, a similar hydropower scheme on the Gelder Burn, a stream that also runs through the area, proved that hydro generation had been a success for the economic and environmental sustainability of Balmoral Estates since being commissioned in 2014.

The Estate is home to: Balmoral Castle, where the Queen stays during summer and which is open to the public until the Queen arrives in summer; Craigowan Lodge, where the Queen stays until the Castle closes to the public and Birkhall, where Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall spend their summer.

Windsor Castle is also powered by hydroelectricity through two turbines on the River Thames.

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