Traverse City Light and Power's first choice location for a future biomass plant is off limits.
The electric utility wanted to build the plant in an industrial park near Cherry Capitol airport. Airport manager Steve Cassens told Light and Power officials last week that the plant, with its tall smokestack, would be too close to the new control tower.
"The height of that new air traffic control tower at eye level is about 140 feet," Cassens says. "This stack that they're proposing is about 130 feet with smoke or steam coming out of the top of that. That would be an obstruction."
Construction of the new control tower is set to start within a couple of months.
Light and Power officials say they're now looking for another site for the biomass plant. Utility director Ed Rice says a plant would need to be built near a connection to electric transmission lines, and close to customers that will buy steam heat. The utility wants to build a plant that would burn wood to generate both electricity and heat.