Heartland Community College – Home of NO Transparency

by Diane Benjamin

Heartland Community College is a public institution funded by taxpayers.  They are accountable to taxpayers for how OUR money is spent.  Ideology should have NO ROLE in education, but it does at Heartland.  The college pushes “Green” technology at any expense and with total disregard to the people paying the bills.  See previous posts on the wind turbine – see May 2012.

After the turbine story, this Internal email was forwarded to me:

As you may be aware, Heartland’s 1.65 MW turbine was installed in April and as of June 12th it is producing electricity for the campus.  That’s right: for the campus.  Heartland’s turbine is tied into the Normal campus grid and supplies our direct electricity needs.  Dana Berry, project technician at Heartland, reports that to date the turbine has produced 208 Mwh.  That’s enough to power a home for over a year – and it only took 2 weeks.  For our campus, 208 Mwh supplies 35% of our electricity needs and offers around $14,500 in utility savings! 

During those times when the turbine produces more electricity than needed on campus, the excess energy will be sold back to the electrical grid. 

Did you also know that before the turbine, Heartland was purchasing renewable energy credits?  These two combined practices put Heartland that much closer to reaching carbon neutrality as part of the American Colleges and Universities Presidents’ Climate Commitment.
For more information about Heartland’s commitment to sustainability, visit our webpage appropriately titled: Heartland’s Commitment to Sustainability.

If you’re inspired by Heartland’s renewable energy projects, try one of our renewable energy community ed courses.  We have solar hot water, photovoltaics, and a brand new geothermal course – all offered in July or August. In November we will also be offering intro to wind.

Enjoy your July and have a happy and safe Independence Day!

Adrienne Tucker, Ph.D.
Associate Director of the Green Institute

This email conveys what I reported in May – the turbine will produce about 1/3 of the energy needed (enough to cover the interest on the loan!).  Note the RED statement.  Take a breathe, lower your blood pressure.  Ready?  Al Gore – are you here?  Did Cap & Trade pass and we all missed it? Do you now understand why the College has NO Transparency?  Let me explain!

This is the final email I received from Heartland when trying to find out what “purchasing renewable energy credits” means:


This email is provided as the response to both of your FOIA emails of July 11, 2012. 

As you know from your reference to an Adrienne Tucker email, Heartland is a signatory to the American Colleges and Universities Presidents’ Climate Commitment.  As stated in the reference you cited, the RECs purchase enhances the College efforts to move closer to carbon neutrality.   

Your question about “from who (purchased)” was captured on the Certificates attached to the last response – through Constellation New Energy.

To further answer your questions, the attached provides the current cost for the previously provided RECs for energy purchased for our Pontiac and Lincoln sites, respectively.

Much of the information you request is publicly available via the internet.  Please consider an Internet search to learn what a Renewable Energy Credit is, what is specifically purchased, what does purchasing a REC accomplish, whether you can be paid for them, why they are given, and what is done with them after purchasing.  Other than as addressed in the documents provided, the College has no records specifically responsive to these questions.


Rob Widmer

Vice President of Business Services


1500 W. Raab Road

Normal, IL   61701

Since Mr. Widmer refuses to answer questions, I have two choices.  I can file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office.  They will investigate his refusal to comply with information taxpayers are entitled to and require he provides the information under the Freedom of Information Act.  Or, I can do research on the internet.  I did – if this information is NOT correct, blame Rob Widmer.  Evidently publishing possibly incorrect information is less offensive than admitting the college has a left wing green environmental ideology and policy.

This website is from Maryland, but it is the best source I found for not hiding any part of the agenda:  http://www6.montgomerycountymd.gov/dectmpl.asp?url=/content/dep/energy/CleanEnergyRECs.asp#cost

Here are a few choice parts of the website:  (RECs are Renewable Energy Credits)

RECs also represent the environmental benefits of clean energy generation. The environmental benefits are the emissions avoided because electricity was produced from a clean energy source instead of from a standard fuel source such as coal, oil, or gas. For instance, RECs represent the pounds of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides that were not emitted due to the burning of fossil fuels. RECs are essentially carbon offsets that are sold to offset the pollution from electricity generated by burning fossil fuels.

Purchasing RECs adds more clean energy to the power grid and helps decrease the amount of electricity generated from fossil fuels.

In addition, money generated from the sale of RECs can help fund clean energy projects. Electricity generated from renewable sources can be inexpensive to produce, but getting started is challenging and expensive. There are government subsidies and tax breaks that support renewable energy generation projects, but these subsidies are much less than those available to those using fossil fuels and other energy sources. The sale of RECs gives clean energy generators more flexibility in covering the costs of clean energy projects.

How Much Do RECs Cost?

It depends. The per-unit price of a REC depends on the type of clean energy generated (wind, solar, sustainable biomass), where the clean energy was generated, and how many RECs you want to purchase. For instance, wind RECs from the Midwest or Texas, where there is an abundant supply of wind energy, may cost 1.5 cents per kilowatt-hour and may be less expensive than solar RECs from the Mid-Atlantic where the solar industry is just starting to gain a foothold. REC Marketers sell renewable energy certificates from all types of clean energy generators so you can choose the type of clean energy you want to support as well as the location.

At the risk of causing you a MAJOR headache – here is what a REC looks like:

Yes – it’s a piece of paper – but alleluia, Heartland is saving the planet!  They forwarded 2 of these to me, one email says they were obtained for the Lincoln and Pontiac locations since they aren’t going “Green”.

Read more on the Maryland website.  This is the CAP & TRADE program defeated in Congress.  It was a scheme set up to raise energy prices, funnel money to environmental causes (political insiders), and destroy the foundations and business environment by making cheap energy a thing of the past.  If you followed this plan in any depth, you would know that many Congressmen, past and present, had invested in Renewable Energy Credits.  They were ready to go when Congress was expected to pass CAP & TRADE.  You may remember the President campaigned on this scheme, of course nobody was paying attention.

Since it DID NOT pass Congress, the President did what he does best – go around Congress!  More reading for you:  American Colleges and Universities Presidents’ Climate Commitment.  We know colleges are full of left wingers, so he went straight to them to implement his plans.

So, how much taxpayer money did they use on pieces of paper so they could feel good about helping the environment?  Since Mr. Widmer refused to answer, I will use the figures on the website:

KWh referenced on 1 REC:                            295,160.38

KWh referenced on the 2nd:                         297,995.17

Totle KWhs                                                       593,155.55

Cost Referenced above                                       1.5 cents

Total $’s spent to feel good:                           $ 8,897.33

Keep in mind – I have NO IDEA if 1.5 cents in an accurate number.  Heartland Community College, specifically Rob Widmer, doesn’t believe it is any of your business.  Sit down – Shut up.

If you didn’t see this video from the City Watch post yesterday, please watch.

This is exactly what we are fighting.

One final note:  The internal email says the turbine is producing 35% of the required power.  Later it talks about selling excess power to the supplier.  Excess, 35%, I’d really like to know how that works!

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