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Iberdrola plans more towers

By KALEY LYON Hays Daily News Iberdrola Renewable Energies USA has filed three new conditional-use permit applications with the Ellis County Environmental Office, requesting permission to install three meteorological towers. The towers would be located in the southern portion of the previously proposed wind farm area. The towers would stand 60 meters tall, the same height as the tower installed to collect wind data in 2006, said Project Manager Krista Gordon. "The met towers are just traditional data coverage," Gordon said. "They're not a big deal. We install these things all the time." The application, which exclusively is for met towers, was submitted Wednesday morning. The towers, which would collect data on wind speed, wind direction and temperature, are being applied for at the request of Iberdrola's meteorologist, who requested more data, she said. The tubular towers would be manufactured by NRG Systems and be supported by guide wires, Gordon said. Gordon also said there has been "no official word" about re-applying for the actual wind turbine project. The next Ellis County Planning and Zoning Commission meeting is Nov. 28, but the applications will not be considered at that time, said Zoning Administrator Dale Wing. By law, official notification of public hearings for zoning applications must be published in the newspaper at least 20 days before the meeting, and written notice also must be mailed to landowners within 1,000 feet of the affected area, Wing said. Furthermore, Wing said the submitted applications are incomplete, and that further information is needed. For example, the application is missing a list of the affected landowners, he said. "There's no way it's going to happen," Wing said of the Nov. 28 meeting. "They're incomplete." Gordon said that, because of the inadequate notification time, additional information is being prepared for the December meeting and will be submitted as soon as possible. According to memorandums of easement agreement filed with Ellis County regarding the wind project, several of the landowner agreements were submitted in 2003. The agreements run for an initial period of five years, "plus applicable extensions or termination" as provided in the easement agreement. That means about 20 of the agreements could expire in the fall of 2008. Reporter Kaley Lyon can be reached at (785) 628-1081, Ext. 138, or by e-mail at Where the towers would be located Owner: John W. Kraus Non-Marital Trust Legal description: NE/4 of the SW/4, Section 15, Township 14 South, Range 19 West of the Sixth P.M. Owner: York College Legal description: NW/4 of the SE/4, Section 20, Township 14 South, Range 19 West of the Sixth P.M. Owner: Dorothy Bemis Legal description: NE/4 of the SW/4, Section 28, Township 13 South, Range 19 West of the Sixth P.M.