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Yass Valley wind farm gets go-ahead after NSW Planning Department backflip

A year after the New South Wales Government rejected a wind farm in southern New South Wales, it has recommended it be given the go-ahead but the number of turbines would be almost halved.

The development application for the Yass Valley wind farm, which straddles the Harden and Yass Valley shires, was lodged in 2008.

Last year the state government knocked back Epuron’s $620m project, referring it to the Planning Assessment Commission, due to environmental concerns and the potential impact of the turbines on aviation.

The Planning Department has re-evaluated the application and recommended it be approved, but on a smaller scale with 79 turbines instead of the proposed 124.

Seventy-four conditions of consent have been suggested, including that both the Harden and Yass Valley councils be paid $2,500 per year for each turbine in the local government areas, CPI-adjusted, after the farm had been operational for a year.

In a statement, Epuron’s Executive Director, Martin Poole said the project could help the State Government deliver its Renewable Energy Action Plan.

The project has been referred back to the Planning Assessment Commission for a final determination.