Over the next few years, North Dakotans will have their nighttime view improved with a reduction in the frequency of seeing blinking red lights atop wind turbines.
House Bill 1378 passed the North Dakota Senate by a 45-1 vote on April 20 with no debate. It now heads to the governor’s desk for his signature.
HB1378 requires that all wind turbines install aircraft detection lighting systems. All wind energy projects approved after June 5, 2016, must have systems in place by Dec. 31, 2019. Projects approved prior to that must have lighting systems in place by Dec. 31, 2021.
The North Dakota Public Service Commission must have rules in place by Jan. 1, 2019, governing the implementation of having lighting systems in place on wind turbines. Rules must be consistent with Federal Aviation Administration rules governing wind turbines.
Extensions could be granted on a case-by-case basis by the PSC depending on technical concerns or economic feasibility.
Costs for installation and maintenance of systems will be placed solely on companies that own the wind energy projects.