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$670m wind farm project approved in southern NSW

After a seven-year delay, the New South Wales Government has approved a wind farm project for the southern part of the state.

The Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) has signed off on Epuron Project’s $670m project across the Harden and Yass Valley shires, but it will be around one-third of the size originally proposed in 2009.

The PAC found the western ‘Coppabella Precinct’, containing 79 turbines would have the least impact on the environment and could be effectively managed to achieve acceptable outcomes for the local community.

Epuron’s original proposal was for 152 turbines.

The Commission’s report said previous concerns about the farm’s impact on local radar systems and airstrips had been addressed and Air Services Australia was satisfied.

It said the new scale of the project reduced the amount of native vegetation to be cleared from 226 hectares to 83 hectares.

The wind farm will be subject to 75 conditions of consent and is expected to create 167 construction jobs and 34 full-time operational jobs.

Epuron’s Executive Director, Andrew Durran, said the company did not believe the reduced size of the wind farm was justified, but acknowledged approval would allow construction to proceed as soon as practical and provide certainty for it, the landholders involved and the community.

The Harden and Yass Valley councils will each receive $2,500 a year, for every turbine placed in each local government area.