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New wind farm asks for a waiver on state rules on lighting turbine towers

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Dave Thompson, Prairie Public
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North Dakota Public Service Commissioners Randy Christmann (l), chairman Julie Fedorchak and Brian Kroshus

The Public Service Commission will hold a formal hearing on whether to grant a waiver to a Pierce County wind farm over “light mitigation” technology.

State law says wind farms must have that kind of technology installed – but the PSC can grant a waiver.

The developers of Rugby Wind say they have ordered the “Aircraft Detection Lighting System” – which is manufactured in Europe. The company says because of supply chain issues, the system might not arrive by a Dec. 31st deadline.

"They're not in violation yet, but they're knocking on the door," said Commissioner Brian Kroshus. "They're getting dangerously close."

Rugby Wind had asked for an extension earlier this year, to install a different light dimming system. But that was denied, because the Federal Aviation Administration has not yet approved that technology.

The hearing is scheduled Dec. 17th.