An effort to construct a wind tower on Illinois Valley Community College’s campus is making progress.
IVCC’s audit/finance committee on Wednesday recommended the full board allow an Ameresco representative to file on behalf of the college an application for over $900,000 in grant funding from the Illinois Clean Energy Foundation.
Reed Wilson, special projects assistant to the president, also recommended the college seek Request-for-Proposals for a consultant to work on an environmental study that would need to be completed for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Wilson said a wind turbine would boost the quality and viability of the college’s wind energy program and result in energy savings, according to a memorandum he wrote to committee members.
“It would make the IVCC wind tech program unique in the state of Illinois,” Wilson said.
Cost of constructing a 1.5 mega-watt turbine is approximately $5 million. Applying for the grant does not commit the college to ultimately move ahead with the project. But it would offer more information to board members to help them decide on whether to formally pursue the project, said committee member Mike Driscoll.
“As our budget gets tighter and tighter we need to make sure every dollar we spend is on education,” he said. “There’s a lot of merit to this project.”
Wilson said through fundraising efforts he was confident the wind turbine project could become a reality without using current IVCC funds. He said it also will create a new source of funding to support the IVCC budget through utility cost savings.
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