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DELEG Announces Installation of Michigan Made Solar Panels on Berrien County Facility Recovery Act-Funded Energy Efficiency Project Unveiled at 2:15 pm Friday at Love Creek County Park and Nature Center

Contact: Mario L. Morrow 517-373-9280
Agency: Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

September 22, 2010 - Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth Acting Director Andrew S. Levin today announced that Berrien County has successfully installed a 9.5kW photovoltaic system and monitoring kiosk at the Love Creek County Park and Nature Center in Berrien County. The county will unveil the project on Friday, September 24, 2010 at 2:15 pm at the park, located at 9228 Huckleberry Road in Berrien Center. Second graders from Mars Elementary in Berrien Springs will be present during the event to learn about renewable energy.

The Berrien County project was made possible through a $88,000 grant from the state's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act).

The Uni-Solar panels, manufactured in Greenville, Michigan, are capable of generating 12,400-14,400 kWh of electricity per year and are expected to save Berrien County $1,500 to $2,000 per year in energy costs. A monitoring kiosk displaying the panels' energy generation and resulting energy savings also has been installed in a public area of the nature center and will function as part of an educational display on solar energy.

"We applaud Berrien County for using Michigan-made products and for hiring Michigan workers," Levin said. "This investment helps boost Michigan's newly diversified economy and supports our efforts to train workers for green jobs. The solar panels will save money for Berrien County's citizens for at least the next 25 years, and by using alternative energy sources we are benefiting the environment."

DELEG's Bureau of Energy Systems (BES) awarded the EECBG funding to Michigan projects that will create and retain jobs, save energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Michigan has obligated $17.6 million to 128 EECBG-funded projects across the state. Designed to assist smaller communities, these grants support energy efficiency measures such as replacing high-energy systems in municipal buildings and street lighting, creating or expanding community recycling programs, and installing small-scale renewable energy generating systems.

State EECBG awards generally range from $50,000 to $140,000 for single cities, townships, or villages and up to $650,000 for single counties and multi-jurisdictional recipients. BES requires grant winners to collect, track, and report data on energy savings, costs savings, and job creation. To see the full list of selected projects and funding amounts, visit the BES website: www.michigan.gov/energyoffice.

For more information about DELEG, please visit www.michigan.gov/deleg. Follow DELEG at http://twitter.com/MIDELEG, visit the "DELEG" page on Facebook and Become a Fan or visit the Michigan Government channel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/michigangovernment 
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