New Kansas law will reduce blinking lights on wind turbines

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas residents who live near wind farms could eventually get a break from the nearly constant blinking of the red lights on wind turbines under a bill signed Thursday by Gov. Laura Kelly.

Starting July 1, developers of new projects will be required to apply to the Federal Aviation Administration for light mitigation technology. The technology turns off the lights except when aircraft are near — a rare occurrence in rural Kansas.

The developers would have two years to install the technology.

Beginning July 1, 2026, existing developments would have to apply to the FAA within six months of signing a new power offtake agreement, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported. Because that could take several years, the law allows counties to use bonds to help pay for the expensive technology earlier.

System installation costs about $2 million, with $100,000 in annual costs for a typical wind farm.

Rep. Lisa Moser, a Republican from Wheaton, who has wind farms near her home, has said she and thousands of Kansans see red blinking lights every three seconds, 24 hours a day.

Kansas has about about 4,000 turbines now, with plans to add another 6,000.