Douglas County Commission to consider renewing permit for meteorological tower associated with potential wind farm
photo by: Douglas County Zoning and Codes staff
Douglas County commissioners on Wednesday will consider renewing a temporary permit for a meteorological evaluation tower in Marion Township.
The 197-foot tower, which is used to collect weather data, is associated with a potentially large wind farm that could take shape in southwest Douglas County. Though county staff has not yet received a permit application for a wind farm, the tower helps developers gauge the viability of such a project.
NextEra Energy Inc., on behalf of Tower Associates LLC, has applied to renew the permit, which was first applied for a year ago, as the Journal-World reported, and which expires on Nov. 30. County staff is recommending approval of the renewal for a three-year period, from Dec. 1 of this year to Dec. 1, 2026, with the possibility of a one-year administrative extension.
The tower, which is on private property southeast of the intersection of North 450 Road and East 200 Road, is one of seven meteorological testing devices in unincorporated Douglas County.
County Planner Karl Bauer, in a memo to commissioners, says that the Zoning and Codes staff has not received any complaints regarding the tower.
However, many residents in southwest Douglas County have banded together to oppose any future wind farm in the area, even though plans have not been filed for one.
In other business, commissioners’ Wednesday meeting will begin with a 4 p.m. work session regarding the county’s Equitable Entrepreneurship Ecosystem, also known as its “E3 team.” The regular meeting will follow at 5:30 p.m. at the Douglas County Courthouse at 11th and Massachusetts streets. The meeting can be viewed via Zoom. The full agenda can be found on the county’s website, douglascountyks.org.