A 196-foot-high meteorological tower to determine the feasibility of Tippecanoe County’s first planned wind farm should go up within the next two weeks.
On Wednesday night, the Tippecanoe County Board of Zoning Appeals unanimously approved a request from Indianapolis-based Performance Services to install the tower in a 3.7 acre easement at 9141 N. County Road 450 W.
Wind Energy Services Project Manager Steve Roy, who spoke on behalf of Performance Services during Wednesday’s meeting, said the temporary tower will be in place for two to three years.
Roy said the tower will be used to collect wind speed and atmospheric data so Performance Services can finalize its plans.
“The tower will go up as soon as we get a permit,” he said. “It should be in the next seven to 10 days.”
The meteorological tower will be gathering data for the 2,500-acre Performance Park wind farm that will be located along the line between Tippecanoe and White counties. It is being marketed toward schools and universities as a way to both generate additional revenue and also educate students.
It will include 25 turbines able to generate 50 megawatts of electricity, enough to power approximately 50,000 homes.
Powered by a solar panel, the 3,500 pound meteorological tower will operate 24 hours a day. According to the Area Plan Commission staff report, no noise will be emitted while the tower is in operation.
The APC is also requiring a 6-foot-tall enclosure.
Board member Jean Hall raised concerns about the tower’s foundation during the meeting, asking “what’s to keep it from digging itself into the soil?”
Roy said the tower is designed so downward pressure keeps it in place, and a series of on-sites tests will be performed to ensure that the guy wires remain in the ground.
In early November, Performance Services officials said the wind farm should be completed by the end of 2012.
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