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PSC denies another extension for a wind farm lighting system

The North Dakota Public Service Commission has denied Sunflower Wind’s request for a waiver concerning the new lighting system for its wind farm in Morton and Stark counties.

Under state law, the new lighting system – to replace the old blinking red lights with a radar-based light dimming system – was supposed to be installed by the end of December, 2021.

In its request for a waiver, Sunflower told the Commission it was waiting for FAA approval of another light mitigation system. That didn’t happen. So Sunflower asked for an extension of time to install the approved “Aircraft Detection Lighting System.”

"Seventeen facilities using the same available vendors, and under the same deadline, were able to install ADLS by the Dec. 31st, 2021 deadline," said PSC chairman Julie Fedorchak. "Sunflower had four years to install ADLS."

Fedorchak said Sunflower spent time waiting for approval of the other system, which have not yet been approved.

Sunflower Wind is a 104 megawatt wind farm. It has 52 turbines.

The PSC could fine the company for each day past the deadline, until the “ADLS” system is installed.

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