A massive upgrade to a wind farm between Glen Innes and Inverell has been given the go ahead.
The $300 million extension to the Glen Innes White Rock wind farm, which will more than double its capacity and create 200 jobs, was approved by a state government organ last week.
The state's Independent Planning Commission ruled on the project because the proposal received more than 25 public objections during the exhibition phase.
But the IPC ruled it was a "balanced" proposal.
"The Commission finds that the Project, carried out subject to the imposed conditions, achieves a reasonable balance between maximising the use of the wind resource and managing potential impacts on the environment and surrounding landowners," it said in a media release.
The Commission argued there was a public interest case for the project, which will 995,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy per year, and reduce carbon emissions by about 955,000 tonnes per year.
There were some 50 submissions to the planning application, almost all in opposition. Just one opponent actually fronted up to the public consultation in Glen Innes on Friday.
Glen Innes farmer Allan Fletcher said he opposed building turbines on the property of another farmer who had opposed the construction of an earlier wind farm on the property of Mr Fletcher.
In one of the written submissions, John Fern claimed the 200 metre tall turbines would be too loud for anyone but Helen Keller to stand. Mr Fern is from Goulburn.
Many of the other opposing submissions were written from towns in other parts of NSW.
The Commission will require the new farm to install smart aviation hazard lighting that will only trigger when an aircraft is detected in the area, in order to mitigate the visual pollution of the warning lighting.
It also said noise impacts on nearby landholders "can be mitigated with the implementation of best management practice noise mitigation measures."
Goldwind Australia representatives fronted up to a community consultation meeting in Glen Innes in October, with Development manager Adrian Maddocks saying early approval could mean the start of construction in the second half of 2020.
The company started construction of the first stage of the 119-turbine White Rock wind farm after approval in July 2012. The project is about halfway between Glen Innes and Inverell.
Stage one, which includes about 70 blades, switched on in 2018.
With the approval of modifications to stage two, the White Rock community fund, which issues $179,000 in grants to local causes, will be pumped up by an additional $120,000 per year.
The mega project will also add about five new permanent jobs. White Rock wind farm already employs 12 people. Some 200 people would be employed during the construction phase.
Glen Innes is also waiting for construction to start on the Sapphire solar farm, a $280 million project.