Testing of Wind Farm Aircraft Detection Lighting System to Begin

By Jeremy Coumbes on January 24, 2022 at 4:14pm

Morgan County residents in the vicinity of the Land of Lincoln Wind Project could finally see some relief from flashing lights next month.

Morgan County Regional Planning Director Dusty Douglas gave an update to the County Commissioners this morning on the status of the Aircraft Detection Lighting System.

Currently, aircraft warning lights on each wind turbine flashes at night, with all of the lights flashing at the same time. The Aircraft Detection Lighting System is designed to allow for the lights to remain off until it senses an approaching aircraft, at which point the lights automatically begin flashing until the aircraft is out of the vicinity of the wind farm.

Residents near the wind farm have complained about the lights flashing in unison all night long as unnerving at best Douglas told the County Commissioners this morning that the tower for the system has been completed and the lighting system project is back on track.

Having talked to the new site supervisor here there is some testing that has started with the new fiber connectivity to the input system. They will be testing and hopefully, it will be completed by the third week of February so all that should be taken care of and hopefully, everything will go well and we can put that behind us. It’s been a big priority for the county. They have a little bit of work to do, will have to work the bugs out but hopefully, when they roll it out everything will be good to go.”

The lighting system has encountered delays since the turbines were first erected and began testing. Delays included a protest by the Osage Nation the suspected land set aside for the construction of the tower for the lighting system, may have been on an Osage burial ground and therefore off-limits to construction. However, results from the study proved satisfactory and construction was allowed to proceed.

In November Apex Energy announced the Lincoln Land Wind Farm had been purchased by Danish renewable energy company Ørsted (YUR-sted) from funds managed by Ares Management Corporation’s Infrastructure and Power strategy.

At the time, Then Morgan County Commissioner Chair Ginny Fanning said that Ørsted already has wind farms that use the Aircraft Detection System technology, which would help in getting the project to fruition once the project was back on track.

Douglas anticipates if all goes well, the lighting system will be in full-time operation late next month.