The New South Wales Planning Minister, Tony Kelly, has approved a $190 million wind and solar farm near Scone in the Upper Hunter Valley.

The Kyoto Energy Park will include 34 wind turbines, a mini hydro-electric generator using recycled water, up to 100 hectares of solar panels and a visitor education centre. It will provide enough renewable power for more than 47,000 homes and create the equivalent of 15 full-time jobs.

Despite extensive community consultation and Government assessment of the farm’s noise, flora and fauna and visual impact – resulting in its scaling back and the attachment of 67 conditions to its approval, some local residents continue to protest at its construction. Carmel Lymbury says the Mr Kelly has ignored community concerns about its noise and visual impacts and thoroughbred horse breeder, Mike Thew, says that he fears the giant wind turbines will ruin the rural landscape.