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Wind Turbine Lights Curtailed Under Bill Headed to Governor


TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Flashing red lights atop wind turbines would be curtailed to improve nighttime views under a bill that has been sent to the governor. If signed by Democrat Governor Laura Kelly, it would require installation of light-mitigating technology on new and existing wind farms. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the aircraft detection lighting system technology would turn off the lights except for when aircraft are near.

Republican Rep. Lisa Moser, of Wheaton, said aircraft aren’t near a wind farm about 97% of the time the lights are blinking. “This bill came about because there are thousands of Kansans who see red blinking lights every three seconds, 24 hours a day,” Moser said, “and this is legislation that will mitigate that.”

Kansas has about 4,000 turbines now with plans to add 6,000 more, Moser said.

It could take years for the new systems to be installed, with new developments required to comply first.

Sen. Mike Thompson, R-Shawnee, said a radar system is about $1.5 million, and one should be enough for most developments. That’s less than the approximate $5 million cost to build a single turbine, he said.