RSPCA staff are celebrating after having an 18-metre wind turbine installed to produce half the electricity at their Brent Knoll animal centre.

The charity was given planning permission by Sedgemoor District Council for the small-scale 11kw turbine to power the RSPCA North Somerset Branch Animal Centre in Brent Road.

Rita Hinton, branch secretary, told the Weekly News: “The welfare of the animals in our care is of prime importance and if the temperature drops below a certain level, the heating automatically switches on and is a massive cost to us.

“Our electricity bill can be as much as £10,000 a year (roughly £27 a day) and it is anticipated the turbine will produce half the electricity we use.”

The centre had been researching alternative energy options for some time and, given its location, staff felt wind power would be much more effective than solar energy. Rita added: “It’s a third of the height of a commercial one and, while we understand people’s reservations about wind turbines, we felt investing in renewable energy was a responsible way forward.

“Our animal centre costs over £600 a day to run and the branch is responsible for raising every penny. “Making a much needed saving will help us continue with our welfare work in the region.”

The project will be monitored by other RSPCA branches, which are also looking at investing in renewable energy.