The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is developing a proposal for less onerous lighting rules for wind farms. The new recommendations call for synchronised flashing strobe lights one-half mile apart around the perimeter of a wind farm. Previously, FAA field offices handled lighting on an office-by-office basis, with the result that wind farms in different regions had to meet different guidelines. The new proposal looks at labelling the entire wind farm as a single obstruction rather than trying to light towers individually. The lighting is to help pilots, particularly of small aircraft, avoid the towers. The FAA is responsible for assigning lighting requirements for any structure over 200 feet. The catalyst for the proposed new requirements came from the American Wind Energy Association, which is aiming to make wind farms easier to site by making them less intrusive on neighbours. A study of the issue, paid for by the US Department of Energy, is scheduled to be completed in the summer. The FAA expects to issue a draft document following the study.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol