Douglas County Commission to review permit process for wind speed measuring devices

The Douglas County Commission at its meeting Wednesday will consider an issue it overlooked two years ago when it approved wind farm regulations.

The commission approved regulations for wind energy towers in June 2016. The action was taken in response to NextEra Energy, of Florida, applying in late 2013 for a conditional use permit to install two meteorological towers to measure wind speeds in southern Douglas County.

The regulations adopted, however, didn’t foresee all the types of wind speed measuring instruments the industry has available to test the viability of potential wind farm sites. NextEra Energy now has approached the county’s zoning and codes department about locating a different type of instrument to measure wind speeds northeast of the intersection of East 1100 and North 200 roads. Sean Reid, zoning and codes director, said the device looks like a large, vertical tub, is about 8 feet tall and sits on a 8-foot by 10-foot single-axle trailer.

No language in the current wind energy regulations applies to this device, so the zoning and codes department is considering permitting the placement of the meteorological device through a temporary business use permit, which would require a public hearing. Reid said. He said Wednesday’s meeting with commissioners is intended to gauge their comfort with the idea, and that commissioners will not be making a decision on the issue at the meeting.

The County Commission meets at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Massachusetts St. To view the complete agenda, visit