The Mayor and Mayoress of Bolton officially switched on the largest wind turbine of its kind at Horwich Parkway railway station today.
The turbine – the largest, in terms of scale and potential power generation, to be installed at any train station in England – means half the station’s power needs is now supplied by ‘green’ energy.
Electricity generated by it helps to power everything at the station: from kettles and computers to passenger information display and lights.
Councillor Guy Harkin and his wife Collette were joined by a group of dignitaries for the official switch-on, including Councillor David Chadwick, Bolton Council’s Executive Member for Highways and Transport, and Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee.
Bolton Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, Councillor 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 TfGM.
Cllr Fender 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.”
Myriad CEG Wind, who also advised Transport for Greater Manchester on the planning application, has installed more than 500 turbines across the UK.
Phil McVan, managing director of Myriad CEG Wind, said: “This is a perfect example of how wind turbines are already making a significant contribution to the UK’s energy needs.
“Astute organisations like Transport for Greater Manchester are looking to distance themselves from reliance on mains electricity because the forecasts are that prices will continue to increase.
“As well as cutting carbon emissions, this turbine will allow surplus energy to be directed back to the National Grid.”