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Wind farm gets the green light

The Boco Rock wind farm at Nimmitabel, a $700 million 270 megawatt facility which is the second largest in NSW, has been approved by the state government.

The Minister for Planning Tony Kelly, announcing his approval yesterday, said the project had the potential to power up to 120,000 homes each year when fully operational and support about 240 construction jobs and 15 ongoing positions.

He said the facility would be located in a sparsely populated area about six kilometres south west of Nimmitabel.

Because of its isolated location, there were only two noninvolved houses located within a three-kilometre radius of the nearest wind turbine.

The company developing the project, Wind Prospect CWP, said there would be 122 wind turbines spread over 17 different properties.

Construction would begin in mid-2011 with the first clean, green electricity flowing from the site one year later.

Mr Kelly said there were 73 conditions imposed on the project. These included the permanent protection of 750 hectares of natural temperate grassland, screen planting at some residences, setting up a community fund of $305,000 per year to fund infrastructure upgrades and tourist development, and strict noise monitoring.