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County looks at turbine light solution

OCAS, Inc. spokesman Greg Erdmann will speak to commissioners about how the collision avoidance system works in the wind industry by keeping wind farm lights off at all times -- unless an aircraft is detected in the area. OCAS is touted as the first and only Federal Aviation Administration tested and approved audio-visual warning system in the nation's airspace.

System only flashes warnings when aircraft are detected

GREEN RIVER -- Many area residents expressed concerns about the flashing visual warning strobe lights on wind turbines when the Bureau of Land Management held a public meeting in February to discuss the proposed White Mountain Wind Project.

Joe Kruljac was among many residents wondering about the possible viewshed impacts from the lights atop the proposed 240 wind turbines that will dot scenic White Mountain west of Rock Springs.

"They'll be strobe lights blinking during the daytime and red observation lights blinking at night ... is this going to bother anybody?" he asked federal officials.

The recent development of improved air-warning technology may provide a solution to reducing those impacts, Sweetwater County officials believe.

Sweetwater County commissioners will hear a presentation on the latest Obstacle Collision Avoidance Systems, or OCAS, that can be used to decrease light pollution from wind turbines at a workshop scheduled next month.

OCAS, Inc. spokesman Greg Erdmann will speak to commissioners about how the collision avoidance system works in the wind industry by keeping wind farm lights... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

System only flashes warnings when aircraft are detected

GREEN RIVER -- Many area residents expressed concerns about the flashing visual warning strobe lights on wind turbines when the Bureau of Land Management held a public meeting in February to discuss the proposed White Mountain Wind Project.

Joe Kruljac was among many residents wondering about the possible viewshed impacts from the lights atop the proposed 240 wind turbines that will dot scenic White Mountain west of Rock Springs.

"They'll be strobe lights blinking during the daytime and red observation lights blinking at night ... is this going to bother anybody?" he asked federal officials.

The recent development of improved air-warning technology may provide a solution to reducing those impacts, Sweetwater County officials believe.

Sweetwater County commissioners will hear a presentation on the latest Obstacle Collision Avoidance Systems, or OCAS, that can be used to decrease light pollution from wind turbines at a workshop scheduled next month.

OCAS, Inc. spokesman Greg Erdmann will speak to commissioners about how the collision avoidance system works in the wind industry by keeping wind farm lights off at all times -- unless an aircraft is detected in the area.

OCAS is touted as the first and only Federal Aviation Administration tested and approved audio-visual warning system in the nation's airspace.

OCAS uses low-power, ground-based radar to provide detection and tracking of an aircraft's proximity to an obstacle such as a wind turbine, according to OCAS data.

The system allows the visual warning lights to remain passive until an aircraft is detected and known to be tracking on an unsafe heading.

"This leaves the nighttime sky free of unnecessary light pollution, thus decreasing the public annoyance issues while improving the environmental habitat," the company's website says.

The OCAS employs an active recognition system that is capable of delivering both visual and audible warnings to flight crews approaching communication towers, transmission lines and wind turbines, among other structures deemed as air obstacles.

OCAS is operational in the United States, Canada and Norway and aims to dramatically improve air safety for both aviators and the owners of ground-based obstructions, officials said.

The workshop is scheduled for 6:30 to 8 p.m. July 13 at the Rock Springs City Hall Council Chambers.


Source: http://trib.com/news/state-...

JUN 26 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/26917-county-looks-at-turbine-light-solution
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