Windfarm will boost North Devon economy, says council

DEVON County Council said it was working hard to maximise the economic benefits of the Atlantic Array offshore windfarm. The council, in conjunction with Regen South West, the Regional Development Agency and North Devon Plus, hopes to secure a signific

DEVON County Council said it was "working hard" to maximise the economic benefits of the Atlantic Array offshore windfarm.

The council, in conjunction with Regen South West, the Regional Development Agency and North Devon Plus, hopes to secure a "significant" number of jobs for North Devon.

Devon County Council's Cabinet Member for Economic and Strategic Planning, William Mumford said that the economic benefits to the region were "potentially very great indeed".

He said: "Many of the services which would be needed to support a project of this scale, such as marine expertise and engineering, are already in place in Devon.


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"When it comes to renewable energy, Devon is at the forefront in developing and encouraging green energy schemes and we welcome the opportunity to play our part in supporting the project.

Cllr Mumford was speaking following today's announcement that RWE npower renewables has won the tender to develop the 250-turbine Atlantic Array project.

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"Today's announcement is fantastic news for North Devon, and we will make sure that the potential benefits are felt in the local economy," he added.

"We will be working very hard with the developer, partner organisations and local businesses to maximise the economic boost this project could provide locally."

Business activities that could potentially be generated by the project include environmental planning, research, surveying, manufacturing and fabrication, on-shore assembly and commissioning, installation, logistics, training, accommodation and crew transfers.

The South West RDA, Regen SW and the and the Crown Estate are encouraging local businesses to attend an Offshore Wind Supply Chain conference, being held in Bristol on March 9. The event will give firms the chance to offer services and get involved with the project.

Construction is expected to begin in 2014 and take around five years to complete. During the construction period it is expected that up to 200-400 on-shore jobs could be created and potentially a further 2,000 people engaged in offshore activities.

The �4.5billion Atlantic Array project would supply 1.5gigawatts of energy, enough to supply 750,000 homes. It is one of nine tenders for UK off-shore windfarms announced by the Crown Estate today.

Off-shore wind technology is expected to provide the largest share towards meeting the UK's renewable electricity goal. The EU target is that 20 per cent of Europe's energy is to come from renewable sources by 2020.

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