Three of six wind farms that missed a lighting system deadline are now in compliance | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Three of six wind farms that missed a lighting system deadline are now in compliance

Jan 10, 2020

Three of six wind power projects in North Dakota permitted after June of 2018 that did not meet a December 31st deadline to have new turbine tower lighting systems installed now say they're in compliance.

They are Oliver Wind, and Brady Wind One and Two.

Those systems would use radar technology, to turn the lights on when an aircraft approaches. Some residents living in the vicinity of wind farms objected to the blinking red lights common to the towers.

Some wind power advocates have criticized the PSC for not allowing waivers for those wind projects. But Commissioner Julie Fedorchak said the Commission’s hands are tied.

"The law says every wind energy conversion facility permitted after June 16th, 2018 must be equipped with a functioning light mitigating technology system," Fedorchak said. "That's what the law says."

Fedorchak said there's no language in the law allowing the farms to apply for an extension, or say it takes effect when approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Commission chairman Brian Kroshus said the PSC is a regulator, not a lawmaker.

"We can create rules, if directed to do so by the Legislature, but it's within narrow parameters," Kroshus said. "It's important we don't decide to reinterpret or modify statute. That's not a responsible role for a regulatory body to take.

"The law is the law," Kroshus said.

Tags: