August 02, 2016

Communication Towers Going Up Throughout Service Area

Midwest Energy is in the process of building nearly 60 towers throughout Kansas, supporting the Automated Metering project and several other communications needs.

The co-op is replacing all 92,000 electric and natural gas meters with automated meters over the next two years.  Automated meters will help control operating costs, improve reliability, speed outage response, and improve employee safety. 

Three contractors climb the base of what will be a 150-foot tall steel communications tower at Midwest Energy's office in Hays.  The tower is one of nearly 60 system-wide to support new automated meters and other communications needs.
Contractors erect a 150-foot tall communications tower at Midwest Energy

“These towers, typically around 200 feet high, are the backbone of the automated metering project,” said Tim Flax, Midwest Energy’s Vice President for Information Technology.  “In addition to metering, these towers will also support our corporate network, phones, land mobile radio, video security, and other functions.”

Flax said roughly five or six towers are being built each month.  Installation of the new meters began in Hays in early 2016, when 700 electric and 300 gas meters were deployed for testing.  Installation of natural gas meters has started in southwest Kansas, and will run through the end of the year, with system-wide deployment following in 2017.

For more information on automated meters, visit here.

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