WORK on a hydro-electric scheme to power 18 homes on the Blenheim Palace estate is due to start on later this month.

The £180,000 project, being carried out by Dorchester-based Hallidays Hydropower, will use an Archimedes screw turbine at Bladon Lake dam on the River Glyme, in Woodstock.

The scheme, which was delayed by three months because of wet weather, should save the estate £18,000 a year in electricity costs once it is up and running in August.

The estate is also planning to build a second turbine closer to the palace at Blenheim Lake dam.