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, has been presented to councillors as part of a review of renewable energy schemes.The committee heard that the "Atlantic Array" off-shore windfarm could potentially generate around 1,500MW - enough to supply electricity to a 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.Councillor Stuart Hughes, the committee's 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."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 France, Wales and Ireland.Local authorities will be expected to identify opportunities to help the region meet targets in the Regional Spatial Plan for generating 56MWe by 2010 and 400MWe by 2020.The 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.l This week the Government called for development of up to 25 gigawatts more offshore wind turbines in the UK - tripling the offshore wind energy in the pipeline. Lundy is one of 11 potential sites identified, three of which are in the South West. Cheryl Hyles, head of programmes at Regen SW, the South West sustainable energy agency, said: "If we are to achieve...15 per cent renewables by 2020, offshore wind will need to contribute significantly.