100-meter tilt-up MET tower


We were recently invited by our good friend Amy Sue to check out the raising of a 100-meter tilt-up MET (meteorological) tower near Arriba, Colorado, USA. Her (employee-owned) company is Capital City Renewables out of Madison, Wisconsin. The tower is a Double K from Poland, and is equipped with anemometers and direction vanes at 3 levels to track wind speed and shear, and beams out the data via cellphone. It's part of a feasibility study for a possible future wind farm.

The site went from a bare cornfield to a functioning MET tower in only 6 days, with a very professional and hardworking crew of 6. The tower will only likely remain in place for a little over a year, at which point it will be decommissioned and moved to another site.


The 3 main guy wire anchors are buried steel plate, with long anchor rods bolted through. When the tower is decommissioned, the plates stay behind deep enough that the farmer won't hit them with a plow, and the rods simply unscrew from the plates and go with the crew.

How do you tilt up a tower with only 3 main guy anchors? You install extra side guy anchors on axis with the tower pivot that are removed after raising.


The data acquisition equipment and the FAA lighting are powered by a small off-grid PV and battery system.


Kiril and Amy Sue testing the anemometers and vanes. Though this tower is a tilt-up, they installed a LadSafe device so the tower can be climbed if an anemometer goes out and needs to be replaced.


FAA lights look small from the ground, but they are really quite large!


The tower base, showing the hinges for the tower, the gin pole, and the helper gin pole (yes, it's a gin pole for your gin pole!)


The gin pole. It will be raised by pulling with a truck after the helper gin pole is raised by hand.


Guy wires attached to the end of the gin pole.


This electric winch is shackled to a guy anchor and pulls up the tower through a 2:1 pulley.


Up it goes, over the course of 3 hours. Very slow, steady and boring. Tower professionals LIKE boring!


Just about there. The crew is getting ready to gently bring the gin pole down, switch to the permanent guy anchors, and remove the gin pole.

Good job, all!