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Funding awarded to make public universities more energy efficient

JACKSON — Mississippi recently was awarded $725,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy to support energy efficiency improvements at the state’s public universities. The grant will be used to help Mississippi create an energy efficiency retrofit strategy for the state’s Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) facilities, with the goal of reducing energy consumption at Mississippi’s public university facilities by 20 percent by 2020.

The Mississippi Development Authority’s (MDA’s) Energy and Natural Resources Division, in partnership with the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration’s (DFA’s) Bureau of Building, Grounds and Real Property Management and IHL, applied for the competitive State Energy Program grant award on behalf of the State of Mississippi.

Additionally, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has committed $150,000 over three years to each of the three Mississippi public universities within its service area — the University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University and Mississippi University for Women — to further support the project.

“With these funds, the state will work to create an energy efficiency retrofit strategy for IHL facilities throughout Mississippi that can also be replicated by other State agencies and local governments,” said Brent Christensen, MDA executive director. “IHL has been aggressively pursuing efficiency for its facilities for the past several years, and with this grant, we will be able to identify ways we can further build upon these efforts to increase efficiency and achieve significant cost savings to the taxpayer through lower utility costs.”

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