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Oklahoma State University receives $7 million for energy efficiency initiative

Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm
Phil Shockley
Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff announced an investment using federal funds to create the Great Plains Center of Excellence on Friday.

OSU is one of five institutions across the country to receive a portion of the $18.7 million. Almost $7 million will go toward the center in Stillwater.

The money is provided by bipartisan infrastructure legislation passed by Congress and would expand on OSU’s current Industrial Assessment Center. IACs help small and medium-sized businesses by improving productivity and competitiveness, while also reducing waste and finding energy efficiency solutions.

“This initiative, which is all about investing in America, is one piece of a grand strategy for us as a country to be able to get back the manufacturing jobs that we have lost over the past couple of decades,” Granholm said.

Granholm also announced a $54 million dollar opportunity that institutions will compete for to create new IACs at community colleges, technical schools and union training programs - as well as creating Building Training and Assessment Centers.

“Most of the IACs are associated with 4-year universities at the moment, but we want to spread the wealth,” Granholm said.

Also in attendance at the announcement was Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, OSU President Kayse Shrum, local lawmakers, students and manufacturers.

Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, who is married to U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, is also a part of this “Investing in America” tour. Emhoff said these investments will help fund initiatives and workers into the future towards building a “clean energy” economy.

“It strengthens our energy security, and it's meeting our climate goals. And in addition to creating a clean energy economy, we are also creating jobs,Emhoff said.

The tour began Friday at Oklahoma State University and concluded at the University of Oklahoma where the pair met for a roundtable discussion on geothermal energy with representatives from Tribal Nations.

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Kateleigh Mills is the Special Projects reporter for KOSU.
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