THE biggest wind turbine of its kind in England has been given the official switch on at a Bolton train station.

Mayor and Mayoress of Bolton, Guy and Collette Harkin, were joined by dignitaries to officially launch the new turbine at Horwich Parkway.

The structure is the largest, in terms of scale and potential power generation, to be installed at any train station in England — and means half the station’s power is now supplied by “green” energy.

Electricity generated by the turbine will help to power everything at the station from kettles and computers to passenger information display and lights.

Bolton Council ’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, Cllr David Chadwick, said: “This station is the first in England to be powered by a wind turbine like this and we’re proud to be leading the way in Bolton. The council is committed to making reductions in its CO2 emissions from energy and transport and this innovative scheme saves money and is good for the environment.”

The 11-kilowatt high-efficiency turbine, which is just over 23 metres tall, will cut carbon dioxide emissions by 289 tonnes over its lifetime, reducing the station’s environmental impact.

It will deliver electricity directly to the station, and any surplus energy produced will be directed back to the National Grid.

The project is part of Ticket to Kyoto, a European initiative to reduce carbon emissions in public transport, and is funded by the European Union’s INTERREG IVB programme, Bolton Council , the Northwest Regional Development Agency and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).

Andrew Fender, chairman of the TfGM Committee, which oversees transport infrastructure projects across the sub region, said: “Horwich Parkway provided the perfect opportunity for this project — it’s the only railway station we own and it has a consistently good wind speed to take advantage of.

“So I’m delighted we’ve been able to work with our partners at Bolton Council and INTERREG to deliver this turbine.

“It’s another important milestone on our journey to making public transport even more environmentally friendly and reducing our own carbon emissions.”