Governor Laura Kelly of Kansas has signed Senate Bill 49, a new law aimed at addressing concerns over the blinking red lights on wind turbines. The bill requires wind turbine developers to install visible but non-disruptive lighting systems for pilots and nearby residents. This move is in response to lawmakers who find the current lighting unnecessary and bothersome.
New Requirements for Wind Turbine Developers
Under the newly signed Senate Bill 49, wind turbine developers must seek approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for lighting system mitigation installations, starting in July of this year. Upon approval, developers will have 24 months to install the systems. Existing wind turbines will also need to apply for FAA-approved light mitigation systems, beginning in January 2026.
Governor Kelly emphasized the importance of balancing aviation safety with minimizing disruptions for local residents. The new law aims to address concerns about the continuous blinking of red lights that can disrupt sleep patterns and affect quality of life for those living near wind farms. The approved lighting systems are expected to be visible to pilots but are designed to minimize their impact on the night sky and reduce disturbance for nearby residents.
The passage of Senate Bill 49 reflects the efforts of lawmakers to find a balance between aviation safety and the concerns of local communities. It acknowledges the growing concerns about the impact of wind turbine lighting on residents and aims to address these concerns through a collaborative approach involving the FAA and wind turbine developers.
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Governor Kelly Signs Three Other Bills into Law
In addition to Senate Bill 49, Governor Kelly has also signed three other bills into law. Electric utility providers are prohibited by House Bill 2225 from passing on transmission-related charges to the general public. The bill responds to public outrage over increased electric bills and aims to limit investor-owned electric utilities, such as Energy, from recouping construction costs from customers through transmission and delivery charges.
House Bill 2114 is a tribute to former Rep. Russ Jennings, a vocal advocate for juvenile justice reforms who passed away in 2021. In his honor, the Joint Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice Oversight is given a new name in the bill. It received unanimous support in both the House and Senate, recognizing Rep. Jennings’ commitment to public service and juvenile justice reform.
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