MINOT, N.D. — I used to live on Minot’s north hill, and there were times when I’d go for a walk in the evening darkness, that I could look across the Souris River Valley and observe what appeared to be an alien invasion south of town.
What I saw marring the prairie night sky wasn’t aliens, but rather the perpetually flashing red lights of a wind farm, one of many scattered across North Dakota’s beautiful landscape.
These lights are an issue. So much so that, back during their 2017 session, lawmakers passed a law requiring mitigation for the lights. Big Wind was to implement technology that shuts the lights off, only turning them on when aircraft are near.
The deadline for newer wind farms was 2019. Older turbine installations, permitted before 2016, are to be retrofitted by the end of this year.