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Senate passes wind power regulation bill

March 10, 2021 GMT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Senate has sent a wind power regulation bill to Gov. Doug Burgum’s desk for his signature.

The legislation allows the Public Service Commission to waive a requirement that wind farms install technology to mitigate the red lights on top of the turbines that blink all night.

The Minot Air Base had expressed concerns about the technology because it flies hundreds of helicopter missions each year to intercontinental ballistic missile sites, some near the turbines.

The military, in part, was concerned the blinking lights could tip off an enemy to a helicopter’s location if the country would come under attack, the Bismarck Tribune reported.

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The bill also requires wind farm operators seeking to replace older wind turbines that were built years ago without PSC approval to obtain a permit from the commission.

According to the PSC, nine older wind farms could be affected.