MARYSVILLE, Mich. (AP) – A $2.2 million project is underway at the St. Clair County Regional Education Service Agency campus in Marysville to create solar energy.

“It really is a beneficial project for us in that we’re leasing the property to Detroit Edison,” Charlie Andrews, campus director of operations and special projects, told the Times Herald of Port Huron. “It helps offset some of the operational costs.”

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Construction began last week and is expected to finish in November.

The 2,000 solar panels will produce about 500 kilowatts of energy, which is enough to power about 70 homes, DTE Energy spokesman Scott Simons said.

DTE will pay $15,000 a year to lease the solar property from RESA. The project will have about 200 kilowatts set aside for education purposes.

“What’s really unique about this particular project is there will be a small section of solar panels dedicated for students to gather and learn more about solar energy,” Simons told the newspaper.

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DTE previously partnered with three other educational institutions on solar energy projects. They are at Mercy High School in Farmington Hills, Monroe County Community College and Warren Consolidated School District.

“We really have made a very strong statement relative to the issue of alternative energy sources,” Andrews said.

Energy created will be directed to DTE’s electrical grid serving southeast Michigan.

“It’s a small part of the overall mix of different types of energy production, but it’s important to have renewable energy as part of our energy portfolio,” Simons said. “They all add up.”

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