The Heartland Community College (HCC) board of trustees has voted to purchase and install a wind turbine on the college's campus in Normal, Ill.
Over the past three years, HCC has conducted a site-specific evaluation to determine the geographic and economic feasibility of installing a wind turbine on campus.
HCC has received two major grants to support the installation: $950,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and a $500,000 grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.
The combined grants will partially subsidize the purchase and installation of the 1.6 MW wind turbine, which could provide approximately half of the 256-acre campus' current electrical needs, according to HCC.
In addition to the energy savings, the wind turbine will act as a hands-on laboratory for students pursuing degrees or certificates in HCC's renewable and alternative energy curriculum.
HCC's renewable energy program began in fall 2010, and its first graduates are anticipated to graduate from the program in 2012.