Commissioners again discuss wind tower ice sling

Wind turbines and winter storms sometimes mean ice sling, particularly in Antelope County.
The issue of ice sling was again front and center before the Antelope County Commissioners (ACC) for their first meeting of 2020.
Zoning Administrator Liz Doerr told commissioners established procedures to follow when there are reports of ice sling were followed. Once notified, she said she contacted the ICC number for Invenergy, located in Chicago, to alert them of the situation. By the time she contacted the ICC, they had also been contacted by the Antelope County Sheriff’s Department. Doerr said she was notified of the problem by ACC Chairman Dean Smith and county resident Judy Wilcox.
Doerr said, by the time she contacted Chicago, Tower 222 had been shut down and Tower 223 was in the process of being shut down.
Wilcox, who has raised concerns before about wind tower farms in the county, said more needs to be done to address ice sling, suggesting the commissioners implement a fine to be assessed if towers where ice sling is occurring and landing on county roads. She said the safety of county residents is in question on county roadways when such conditions exist.
If there are no financial repercussions, then there’s no incentive for wind farms to shut down towers slinging ice on roadways.
Doerr said it was her belief that the wind farm (Prairie Breeze) was following the conditions set forth in their conditional use permit.
She said there is nothing on the books which would allow her to fine wind farms in such instances, adding that any penalties or fines need to be handed down by the court system.
The matter was not resolved as discussions will continue on ice sling and how best to handle conditions here in Antelope County.
In other action:
TC Energy — Representatives from TC Energy shared with commissioners an updated road map for hauling materials during the proposed construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. The commissioners took no action on the road haul agreement as the commissioners wanted to review the agreement. If approved, the agreement would cover more than 110 miles of gravel roads, 32 miles of paved roads and some state highway miles. The matter will be discussed again in February.
Approved — The commissioners gave the go ahead to advertise for bids for the Tilden North & South bridge replacements (see public notice on Page Eight).