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MEP lobbies for Ilfracombe jobs from Atlantic Array

By NDJJoel  |  Posted: October 22, 2012

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Devon MEP Sir Graham Watson is hoping 40 jobs created by the proposed Altantic Array offshore wind farm will come to Ilfracombe.

Mr Watson met with officials from RWE Renewables at their Swindon headquarters last week to lobby for the construction and maintenance jobs to come to North Devon area rather than South Wales.

Mr Watson says the 278 offshore turbine project, which has the potential to power over one million homes, could create more than 40 jobs in Ilfracombe in addition to scores more during the construction period.

Mr Watson said: "We are not just talking about a small development here to power a local community. We are talking about powering over one million homes with clean electricity.

"I understand the concerns local residents have over environmental concerns and the visual impact. But with our dependency on foreign gas and oil getting bigger by the day and with the concerns over nuclear following the Fukushima disaster last year, we must look to further explore the options of renewable energy. I very much doubt residents in North and West Devon would prefer to have a nuclear power station.

"I had a constructive meeting with RWE Power who are all too aware that there should be considerable benefits to the local community in North Devon. I hope these jobs can be secured in and around Ilfracombe and I will continue to campaign hard for this to happen. The economic benefits to the local economy created by the construction of this array could be a huge boost to North Devon in these difficult economic times.

"The economic benefits do not just include the 40 or so jobs that would be created. It would also be a boost indirectly to local businesses such as hoteliers, shop owners and others who would benefit from more people moving into the area to work on the project."

The closest turbine will be nearly nine nautical miles from the North Devon coast. A local investment fund will also be set up for North Devon to invest in community projects.

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  • Sue200  |  October 24 2012, 8:29AM

    Devon MEP Sir Graham Watson? Personally I have never heard of him (must look him up) but if this report is to believed then I hope he is successful in alerting people to the fact that Ilfracombe is worth investing in. We have people in this town that work tirelessly to promote the benefits of this particular part of North Devon yet I have never seen any action from Nick Harvey MP.

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  • Crabb Construction  |  October 22 2012, 11:59PM

    The maths doesn't add up. For 1.5GW to power 1m homes, they would have to average peak power of 1.5Kw! For your own safety, if you notice these turbines turning at some point in the future, don't use any appliances, or it will muck up RWE's claims. These claims are even more remarkable when you consider the best windfarms operate at 25% of claimed 'plate' capacity, on average about 20% is used in calculations I believe. This means that these 1m homes will have to consume no more than 300 to 350W on average. So unless it's blowing a gale, you'd better turn your lights out, and your computers off as well.....just to be safe of course. Got any candles? To summarise, these figures are LAZY propaganda, and could be exposed by any half intelligent person with a calculator ....battery operated of course!

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  • Stork  |  October 22 2012, 6:08PM

    It will never happen. If the scheme receives planning permission and is built. Everything will come from South Wales. Ilfracombe just cannot compete with the likes of "proper" docks like Swansea, Port Talbot, Barry, Cardiff and even Newport. Ilfracombe is tidal and cannot service 300 feet long North Sea oil rig type vessels. I very much doubt that articulated lorries would even be able to negotiate the bends to deliver the long lengths of wind turbine masts to the Harbour side. Yes, there would be jobs constructing the sub stations onshore in North Devon, but that's about it.

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