he North Dakota Public Service Commission has fined Xcel Energy $10,000 for failing to meet the deadline for complying with the state’s new law requiring light-mitigating technology atop wind turbines. The system at the new Foxtail wind farm in Dickey County became fully operational April 7, missing the state’s Dec. 31 deadline by several months.
Library filed under Lighting from North Dakota
The latest penalty of $5,000 comes after operators of the Emmons-Logan wind farm in Emmons and Logan counties failed to install and start operating the technology by Dec. 31, 2019. It took until Feb. 11 for the site to come into compliance.
The law passed by the North Dakota Legislature does not allow the PSC to give these wind operators extra time to get the new systems put in. Fedorchak said the PSC is sending letters to the six wind farms – telling them they have to comply with the law. She said the companies have been a part of the discussions, and none of them had expressed any concerns with them deadline date.
Helicopters fly hundreds of missions each year related to the operation of intercontinental ballistic missiles buried in North Dakota. Blair wrote that one of the Air Force’s concerns is that the lights could notify opposition forces of the location of a helicopter flying at night. “This would severely degrade our capability and jeopardize mission accomplishment,” he said.
H.B.1378 was first introduced in January, calling for every North Dakota wind farm capable of producing more than 500 kW of electricity to be equipped with one specific technology – an aircraft lighting detection system (ADLS). Notably, this move applied retroactively to all existing wind farms, in addition to any future developments.
BISMARCK, ND – The North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved two sets of rule changes that strengthen requirements for future wind projects and ensure they are properly decommissioned at the end of their use. The rule changes focus on two different areas related to wind projects: (1) decommissioning requirements for when a wind farm is retired, and (2) lighting systems.