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FAPC acknowledged for $1 million energy savings

The Oklahoma State University Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center became one of 11 facilities on the OSU campus to be recognized for energy saving efforts.

(Stillwater, Oklahoma – Aug. 13, 2019) The Oklahoma State University Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center became one of 11 facilities on the OSU campus to be recognized for energy saving efforts.

“FAPC received the $1 Million Dollar Energy Reduction Award for having a cost avoidance of $1 million in energy savings since the inception of the energy management program at OSU in 2007,” said Bobby Horner, OSU Energy Services manager.

Horner presented a plaque for the recognition to Roy Escoubas, FAPC director, June 26. Burns Hargis, OSU president, and Thomas Coon, OSU vice president for agricultural programs, also attended the presentation.

Horner said the energy management program aims to reward the energy saving efforts of individuals and departments on campus.

“This plaque is just one of the ways for us to say thank you and allow the facility’s occupants to proudly display the award that shows they have done their part to save dollars,” Horner said.

Saving energy is important for both environmental and economical purposes and describes efforts to save energy as a simple solution to tightened budgets, he added.

“It’s good to work with people that recognize opportunities to do something better,” said Jake Nelson, FAPC facilities manager and meat processing specialist, who played a large role in the center’s energy saving efforts.

FAPC staff did not achieve this award alone as a department, but had help from both the faces behind the OSU Energy Services and the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

“For every ounce of effort FAPC staff put in, the other two units’ staff put in three ounces,” Nelson said. “Both groups helped FAPC faculty and staff identify areas where the opportunity to save energy existed.”

The facility adopted a demand defrost system for the refrigeration units inside the building. These devices were installed in every freezer and cooler to help manage electrical usage when defrosting evaporators.

The previous system was on a timer, a method Nelson said often wasted energy for defrosting when it was not needed. The new system is based on logic and preset parameters to help avoid unnecessary energy usage.

From the typical methods of turning off lights during long weekends and holidays to switching to more energy efficient equipment, Nelson said several key changes were made in the FAPC building to help conserve energy.

“We were also able to decrease light bulb usage by one-third without seeing a negative impact on function in the building,” he said.

Due to the unique construction of the FAPC building, Nelson said large windows throughout the facility allowed for the staff to utilize natural light rather than the artificial light provided by light bulbs in several common areas.

“One of the themes that has floated through the FAPC employee base is the idea of continuous improvement,” Nelson said. “When people come to work every day and every week and every month, the repeated action of asking yourself what you can do better is simple and helps lead to achievements like this.”

FAPC, a part of the OSU Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, helps to discover, develop and deliver technical and business information that will stimulate and support the growth of value-added food and agricultural products and processing in Oklahoma.

STORY BY: Megan Silveira | FAPC Communications Graduate Assistant

CONTACT: Mandy Gross | FAPC Communications Services | 405-744-0442 | mandy.gross@okstate.edu

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