Temporary Wind Data Collection Tower Approved, Many Concerned Wi - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Temporary Wind Data Collection Tower Approved, Many Concerned Wind Farm May Be Next

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A temporary tower will soon stand in this spot, but some have concerns about what may happen next.

The Wexford County Planning Commission unanimously approved a temporary tower near Mesick, which will be used to collect wind data.

If the wind readings are right, a wind farm would likely come next ... A project those who live nearby aren't sold on.

The temporary tower would be less than 200-feet tall, and resemble a cell tower.

But many are looking beyond the temporary tower to what may come after it. 

"The developer of this tower wants to use this to collect data to determine whether wind energy would be feasible to explore the possibilities on a larger scale," explained Wexford County zoning administrator, Michael Green.

NextEra will build the temporary tower here on the northeast corner of 6 Road and 7 Road in Wexford Township within the next year. 

"They'll have up to a year to put the tower up. From now, they have 6 years to have the tower up, it's a temporary tower permit."

If the data collected by this tower is what they're looking for, that means a wind farm could then be built here. It's a possibility those who live nearby are not looking forward to. 

"We're a little upset with it," said Wayne Grzybowski, "the noise, and then the visual aspect of it, having this big windmill flopping around out here, we can see it from our house."

While the temporary tower is a go, many say they have plenty of questions before they see a wind farm move in. 

"As a community member that's paying taxes, i don't want to see this thing happen myself."

NextEra says the temporary tower would be 530 feet away from the nearest property.