• Last modified 388 days ago (June 28, 2023)


Turbines turning at new wind farm

Staff writer

If you thought you saw turbines at Sunflower Wind Farm rotating, it wasn’t your imagination.

Many turbines now are turning in the wind, even though Orsted, the wind farm’s owner, doesn’t expect the farm to be fully operational until fall.

Orsted communications adviser Charlotte Bellotte wrote in an email Tuesday that 67 of the 76 “turbines will be operational in the next week.”

Eugene Just, an Aulne resident who has a turbine on his land, said his turbine was not yet spinning.

“It hasn’t moved at all,” he said.

The turbines are not producing electricity yet, Just said.

“They’re testing them and making sure everything is working,” he said. “Some of them are rotating. They go the direction the wind is.”

Red blinking warning lights for aircraft also have been turned on at night on both sides of Sunflower Rd.

Orsted plans to install an aircraft detection system that will allow lights to blink only when aircraft is detected.

“We will be installing the ADLS technology in the next few months,” Bellotte wrote. “We’re still planning on the project being fully operational in the fall.”

Lights have been on for several weeks, Just said.

“They’re blinking,” he noted.

Federal Aviation Administration requires that all towers 50 feet or higher and center pivot irrigation systems install lighting for aircraft safety.

The FAA determines lighting for wind projects, including the number of lights, the color of the lights and the frequency at which they blink on and off.

Light mitigation is safe for aircraft and reduces light pollution, Bellotte said in an earlier interview.

Last modified June 28, 2023