Lake Land College was recently awarded two grants totaling more than $600,000 for sustainable projects on campus.
A Renewable Energy Program grant subcontract from the Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN), in partnership with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), was awarded to the college in December. IGEN received this funding from DCEO to build the capacity of Illinois community colleges by identifying and filling gaps in the renewable energy market transformation efforts across Illinois. Encouraging partnerships for new initiatives and enabling renewable energy adoption through sub-grants are key actions of the IGEN program. Lake Land’s award includes a funding level of $225,000 to support the installation of 100 kilowatt mounted photovoltaic solar arrays.
Additionally, the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation (ICECF) selected Lake Land College to receive a grant of up to $419,956 to support the installation of another 200 kilowatts of mounted photovoltaic solar arrays through their Renewable Energy program. The Foundation requires a commitment from each grantee to teach about solar energy in the classroom and to educate the community about the benefits of solar energy, of which they “are impressed with Lake Land College’s commitment to renewable energy and sustainability, and [they] look forward to the contribution these systems will make on the Mattoon campus.”
Partnerships with organizations like ICECF have allowed the college to further its sustainability commitment, which began in 2008. Educational outreach is a priority of both grant programs, and students in the training programs, as well as workshop attendees, will also receive hands-on opportunities with the solar arrays. The systems will be highlighted during the annual Energy Innovations Conference, which is scheduled for Wednesday, March 5, with keynote speaker Ed Begley, Jr.