A FARMER claims wind power has slashed his energy bills by 85 per cent.

Andy Paton, who owns Birches Farm, in Bradshaw, has two 18 metre-high turbines which he uses to generate electricity to power the dairy farm.

And he is hoping that they will eventually provide a further income to allow him to take on more employees.

Mr Paton, who is 43, said: “The installation of the turbines has reduced our costs, fixed our electricity costs and hopefully, in the course of time, will provide an income. Obviously, they have got to be paid for first and this is a substantial investment.”

Mr Paton is hoping to erect a third turbine, which would measure 50 metres from the base to the tip of the blade, but is facing resistance from people living nearby, with more than 100 letters of objection having been lodged with Bolton Council.

He will be hosting an open day at his home on Monday, to encourage people to find out more about the turbines.

He said: “The government is pushing wind turbines and rightly so in my opinion.

“If we don’t do something there is a very real danger of the lights being turned off in the not too distant future.”

Mr Paton appeared on BBC 1’s Countryfile last month to talk about the benefits of renewable energy.

He will be joined at the open day by representatives from Myriad CEG, the company that installed the existing turbines. Last week, Bolton Council said it would look at introducing a policy on turbines, after refusing permission for a 100ft turbine on Douglas Valley Golf Course in Blackrod.

The event will take place at Birches Farm in Bury Road between 12pm and 7pm.

Call Charlie Guthrie for more information on 0203 0560873.