Wind turbine producing electricity for Heartland Community College

By Audrey Williams

September 14, 2012 Updated Sep 14, 2012 at 7:50 PM CDT

NORMAL, Ill -- Heartland Community College is celebrating the results of a lengthy-team effort.

The college is the first in the state to have a commercial-grade wind turbine. After being fully tested, the turbine is now actively producing electricity.

The energy savings for the next 15 years will go toward paying back the $3.5 million the turbine cost the college. Federal and state grants paid for the other $1.5 million.

After 15 years, the college expects to see a savings of almost $400,000 per year.

Besides the cost savings, the College President Dr. Allen Goeben said it will add to their curriculum.

"Heartland has a lot of green economy related programming for the students to pursue career-wise, so they can do everything from photovoltaics to wind energy," said Dr. Goeben.

The turbine is expected to power about half of the college and will feed power back to the grid when its not being used.

The turbine is expected to have a life-span of 20 to 25 years.

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