A £4.5 Billion proposal for 350 wind turbines, 15km off Lundy, could provide significant benefits to the North Devon economy, Devon County Council's Environment, Economy and Culture Scrutiny Committee has been told. A report detailing the idea being by pu

A £4.5 Billion proposal for 350 wind turbines, 15km off Lundy, could provide significant benefits to the North Devon economy, Devon County Council's Environment, Economy and Culture Scrutiny Committee has been told.A report detailing the idea being by put forward by South Molton-based Channel Energy Ltd, was presented as part of a review of renewable energy schemes, yesterday (Tuesday).The committee heard that the "Atlantic Array" off-shore windfarm could potentially generate around 1,500MW - enough to supply electricity to one million households and saving up to three million tonnes of CO2 a year. There is also the possibility that wave and tidal stream technology could be harnessed at the site. Proposals for the Severn Tidal Barrage were also heard.Councillor Stuart Hughes, Environment, Economy and Culture Scrutiny Committee Chairman, said: "Devon's ambition to be the greenest county means Devon County Council must play a part in exploring the development of renewable energy in the region. "We should look to share in employment opportunities, but any schemes must take careful consideration of the environment."The county council is helping fund a study to investigate the impact of the Atlantic Array. It is also seeking to strengthen partnerships with neighbouring maritime states, particularly in France, Wales and Ireland as well as looking to encourage the development of technology and skills.Local authorities will be expected to identify opportunities to help the region meet targets set out in the Regional Spatial Plan for generating 56MWe by 2010 and 400MWe by 2020.The scrutiny committee recommended that Devon should aim to become a centre of excellence in the research of renewable power and that the committee should consider the issue further when more detail is made available on the economic benefits.