If you notice a couple of new towers being built around the county, they could be ones that are being used not to support cell phones or electricity, but the measurement of winds.
EDF Renewable Energy is a power production company that recently applied for and received permission to construct several guyed towers. The next towers to be constructed will be located on land near the intersection of 12th Ave. and Pioneer Rd. and near the intersection of 19th Ave. and Pioneer Rd.
"Starting in 2016, commercial wind development companies started filing special use applications for the placement of meteorological towers on private properties throughout McPherson County," said McPherson County Planning and Zoning Director John Verssue.
It takes filling out a special use application, the Board of Planning's assent (with a recommendation of approval) and then the permission of the Board of County Commissioners to be able to build a tower for the purpose of obtaining meteorological details.
"The information provided to us by the applicants state that these towers are temporary and are used to collect specific data necessary to determine the feasibility of potential commercial windmills if a commercial wind energy project is to move forward," Verssue said.
The meteorological towers EDF Renewable Energy plan to build will be around 60 meters tall. The towers are designed to be in place for three to seven years. After that time, they will be dismantled and the land will be reverted back to its prior purpose.
These towers are secured in place and are usually no taller than 250-feet. They are much smaller and lighter than even cell phone towers.
To date, McPherson County has approved six total towers in various locations throughout the county.
"These are small, temporary towers, and not the commercial wind mills people envision," Verssue explained. "For those, the applicant has to come back through with a new special use application and address the commercial wind energy project regulations."
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