Obstruction lighting on wind farms has ensured the safety of pilots and passengers for many years. However, dimming the lights has increasingly become an important mitigation factor for today’s wind projects. In fact, in just three years, the majority of wind projects announced or built in Canada have chosen to install light mitigation measures using LIDSTM (Lighting Intensity Dimming Solution) technology). With LIDSTM technology, the light intensity automatically adjusts to the surrounding visibility. This reduces light pollution, while keeping the sky safe for pilots.
With momentum growing, today, LIDSTM technology occupies a considerable place in the Canadian market. Part of the momentum can be attributed to Transport Canada’s announcement in 2020 indicating that Canadian wind farm owners could include a proposal to install LIDSTM technology in the aeronautical assessment for their new facilities. The goal is to help mitigate the nuisance caused by the obstruction lighting and facilitate community acceptance. Of the 29 wind projects announced or built between 2000 and 2023 in Canada (mainly in Alberta, and in Saskatchewan), 22 of these projects have chosen to install light mitigation measures. Of these 22 projects, 18 projects used LIDSTM Technology and two projects chose LIDS TM readiness which means that everything is in place including the programming and necessary plug-in to potentially switch to LIDS technology.
Ben Greenhouse, CEO of Potentia Renewables, explains why they chose LIDS technology.
“Potentia Renewables has been an early adopter of technologies geared towards helping wind farms achieve a greater level of community acceptance. Choosing LIDS Technology to dim the lights on our sites has allowed us to make them less obtrusive to our neighbours – both near and far – while providing the necessary safety signal to the aviation community”.
Francis Lacombe, president of Technostrobe, welcomes the fact that communities close to wind farms can increasingly benefit from the undeniable benefits of LIDSTM Technology. “A dynamic system that dims the lights when the sky is clear is a smart and easy solution to help developers integrate their windfarms with the surrounding communities.”
With the increase in air traffic and the development of wind farms ever closer to communities, social and community acceptance is becoming a priority issue for many wind farm owners. With LIDS™ technology, the intensity of the beacons can be dimmed when the sky is clear and intensified when weather conditions deteriorate.