13 February 2013

Company Withdraws Cherry County MET Tower Proposal

A proposal from Bluestem Sandhills L.L.C. to erect four meteorological towers was withdrawn by the company before it could be considered by the Cherry County board of commissioners at their meeting on the afternoon of February 12th.

Technical engineers withdrew their application at 9:55 a.m., according to the county zoning administrator. The meeting was to start at 2 p.m.

Each tower would have provided details essential to evaluating the potential for generating wind energy with turbines. Each tower would have had a height of 197 feet above ground level, and include something like four sets of guy-wire. Because of their height, an indicator light would not be required at the top of the structure, as they are federally mandated only for structures more than 199 feet tall.

Locations for the proposed towers, as provided by the Cherry county zoning administrator, were:

* southwest 1/4 of section 34, T26N R33W

* northwest 1/4 of section 30, T27N R35W

Both of these sites are on property owned by the Lone Creek Cattle Company, an agribusiness company based from Lincoln, Nebraska.

* southeast 1/4 of section 20, T25N R28W

This parcel is owned by Bureau of Educational Lands and Funds, the Nebraska agency responsible for school section tracts throughout the state. There has not yet been an agreement reached upon the lease amount, nor the period of time that a tower might be placed upon the property, according to a spokesman. "It is clear that we support wind turbines," he said, based upon decisions made by the board. Also, the BELF is a member of the Cherry County Wind Energy Association, and has enrolled 28,000 acres, to fulfill association requirements.

* southeast 1/4 of section 18, T34N R31W

The site is located along Highway 20, southwest of Kilgore, on property owned by the Rothleutner partnership.

These permanent structures required approval by county officials.

There has also been a mobile MET tower along a county road south of Cody, an official in the courthouse at Valentine indicated. No further details were available as to its owner or purpose.

A fifth tower had originally been proposed, but was not included in the postponed request.