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North Dakota regulators say no to wind farm lighting extension request  

Credit:  Amy R. Sisk | The Bismarck Tribune | June 9, 2021 | bismarcktribune.com ~~

The North Dakota Public Service Commission on Wednesday denied a wind farm’s request for an extension to install technology that would keep the lights atop its turbines from blinking bright red all night long.

Avangrid Renewables owns Rugby Wind and sought more time to comply with the state’s law requiring light mitigation technology atop wind farm turbines. The company was interested in putting in a system on the Pierce County wind farm that would dim the lights at night based on visibility conditions, but the technology has not received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Its manufacturer is seeking permission from the FAA, but Commission Chair Julie Fedorchak said approval is unlikely to come in time for Rugby Wind to meet even an extended deadline by the end of 2022. As a result, the wind farm will need to comply with the existing deadline of the end of this year and install a radar-based system that keeps the lights off at night unless an aircraft flies in the vicinity.

The wind farm operator told the PSC the dimming system would be cheaper than the radar system but that due to the uncertainty, it would make an expedited request to a vendor to install the radar-based technology.

The PSC earlier this year approved an extension for one wind farm operated by Montana-Dakota Utilities interested in the dimming technology. But commissioners indicated at the time that they would not necessarily grant every similar request that came their way, and they’ve learned more about the FAA process since then.

The commission on Wednesday also agreed to delay a hearing slated for later this month on Bowman Wind, a wind farm proposed in southwestern North Dakota. The company is working out lingering issues with a landowner and wanted to resolve that first before the hearing, Fedorchak said.

Source:  Amy R. Sisk | The Bismarck Tribune | June 9, 2021 | bismarcktribune.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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