Vineyard Wind's Lights Still Visible At Night As Aircraft Detection System Not Yet Operational

Jason Graziadei •

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A view of the Vineyard Wind nighttime lights from Madaket Beach

The red lights on the horizon above the waters off Madaket Beach blink in unison, a reminder of the country's first commercial-scale offshore wind under development approximately 15 miles southwest of Nantucket.

Vineyard Wind's offshore turbines have been clearly visible to the naked eye from the island's south shore beaches since the first one went up last October. But it's the view of the wind farm at night that has caught peoples' eyes in recent months.

As part of Vineyard Wind's mitigation agreement with the town - better known as the Good Neighbor Agreement - the company is required to install a so-called Aircraft Detection Lighting System, or ADLS. This system will utilize radar to ensure the lights at the top of each turbine activate only when there is an aircraft in close proximity to the wind farm area.  That system was supposed to be operational by Memorial Day weekend, but that has not yet happened.

“Vineyard Wind continues to make progress on the implementation of the Aircraft Detection Lighting System (ADLS),"  said Vineyard Wind spokesperson Craig Gilvarg. "Vineyard Wind is working closely with various contractors and construction teams involved in implementing this complex technology, while addressing several technical challenges that have emerged in recent weeks. While prioritizing the safe construction and operation of the wind farm, Vineyard Wind is working diligently to have the ADLS working on a first grouping of commissioned turbines within the next several weeks, with more turbines added as commissioning work continues. As these efforts progress, we will continue to provide updates to the Town of Nantucket.”

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The construction of Vineyard Wind's first turbine, located approximately 15 miles southwest of Nantucket, pictured here in October 2023.. Photo by Kit Noble
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