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Wind energy company cited for temporary tower

The city of Piedmont has issued a citation to Apex Wind Energy after it mistakenly built a temporary tower in city limits without the proper permit.

The structure is referred to as a met tower and has instruments that obtain wind data in preparation for possibly building a wind turbine. The 198-foot structure was built in northwest Piedmont and officials with Apex said they recently discovered it was built in the city.

“It was an absolutely honest mistake,” Apex Development Manager Kent Dougherty said. “We have a number of met towers in the area and we didn’t realize it was put up in (Piedmont).”

An inspector with the city confirmed that the tower was in city limits and issued a citation. The city council will hear from Apex officials at the next council meeting to discuss a remedy, Dougherty said.

Apex has announced it plans to build a large wind farm in the area with some wind turbines planed for Piedmont. The met tower was constructed in preparation for that project.

“We try to understand the wind patterns across the site and that is why the met tower is there,” Dougherty said. “But it doesn’t mean a wind turbine is going to be built there.”