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'Bright, blinking red': Vineyard Wind responds to concerns about nighttime lighting

The first completed turbine at the Vineyard Wind offshore site.
Vineyard Wind
The first completed turbine at the Vineyard Wind offshore site.

Red lights on the turbines at Vineyard Wind are drawing attention from Cape and Islands residents, but the developer says the constant nighttime lights are only temporary.

Cliff Carroll, an outspoken opponent of Cape Wind 20 years ago, says he can see a line of red lights from his home in West Barnstable.

“The red lights are clearly visible at night time — clearly,” he said. “They're very significantly bright, blinking red. They're all synchronized. They all blink at the exact same time, so it's like a red, blinking fence.”

Vineyard Wind has pledged to use an automatic system called an Aircraft Detection Lighting System to operate the lights. It would use radar to activate safety lights for aviation, but only when aircraft are nearby — possibly only a few hours a year.

That system won’t be operating until the project is complete. Until then, the red aviation lights need to stay illuminated at night for safety, Vineyard Wind spokesperson Craig Gilvarg said.

Separate lights for marine navigation are not expected to not be visible from shore.

The timeline for completing the project is approximate. In January, the Boston Globe reported that installation of the 62 turbines was scheduled to be finished later this year. But this week, Vineyard Wind would not confirm a timeline.

Jennette Barnes is a reporter and producer. Named a Master Reporter by the New England Society of News Editors, she brings more than 20 years of news experience to CAI.