The Planning Assessment Commission has approved the Crudine Ridge Wind Farm on the New South Wales central tablelands, despite vocal opposition from the local community.
The development will involve building 77 turbines 160m high south of Mudgee.
The Department of Planning received 120 submissions, many of them raising concerns about traffic, safety and noise issues. However, the commission said it was confident the conditions being imposed on the project would allay concerns.
Council general manager Brad Cam said the project would provide an economic boost the community.
“I’m pleased, with the downturn in the mining area, at least there is some opportunity for construction over the period,” Mr Cam said.
“At least there is employment for that and there is ongoing employment with the operations of the turbines.”
Coal mining has played a major role in the Mudgee region’s economy, however, supporters of the wind farm hope it will be a catalyst for more renewable energy developments.
Local resident Brendan Cole is set to host up to seven turbines, and said the wind farm would present an opportunity to turn the region’s fortunes around.
“There’s a community fund that will create some big improvements in some of the local communities between Bathurst and Mudgee.”