Lake Land College, a community college in Mattoon, Illinois, didn’t have to think twice about signaling its virtue when the federal government offered a grant of nearly a million dollars to install wind turbines on campus. The catch was that Lake Land would have to maintain those turbines and pick up the copious amounts of the dead birds they produce.
The college’s PR director admitted to The Daily Caller News Foundation that “since the installation in 2012, the college has spent $240,000 in parts and labor to maintain the turbines.” Uh-oh. But there’s more, courtesy of Illinois Leaks (“Edgar County Watchdogs”):
“The college estimates it would take another $100,000 in repairs to make the turbines function again after one of them was struck by lightning and suffered electrical damage last summer. School officials’ original estimates found the [turbines] would save it $44,000 in electricity annually, far more than the $8,500 they actually generated. Under the original optimistic scenario, the turbines would have to last for 22.5 years just to recoup the costs, not accounting for inflation. If viewed as an investment, the turbines had a return of negative 99.14%.”
Back to the PR flack: “They are not a good teaching tool if they are not working.” Well, they are a good teaching tool. They should be teaching college students and taxpayers that this pie-in-the-sky crap usually doesn’t work except in liberals’ fantasies. But get this: The turbines will be replaced by a solar power system, also paid for by a government grant. The flack says “the photovoltaic panels are expected to save the college between $50,000 and $60,000 this year.” Sure it will.
Lake Land excels in producing graduates with an associate’s degree in agriculture. All have more common sense than any administrator there.