Eleven communities in southwest Missouri received nearly $1.1 million in Energize Missouri Communities grants from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

The grant program, funded by the 2009 stimulus act, offered $11.3 million to 58 communities statewide for projects that reduce energy usage and fossil fuel emissions, according to a DNR news release.

The state estimates that the projects will save 47.7 million kilowatt-hours of energy per year and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 11,657 tons, as well as create 105 jobs.

Among the southwest Missouri projects getting funding:

• The Nixa School District is receiving $110,604 to update lighting systems at 11 educational facilities, though district spokesman Zac Rantz said the district has not yet decided which buildings will receive upgrades;

• Taney County is receiving $174,999 to replace lights at 23 buildings, including three school districts and fire stations;

• The city of Highlandville will get $153,412 to replace 30 grinder pumps with gravity flow lines to facilitate waste conveyance; and

• Wright County is receiving $22,000 to install a temperature control system that interfaces with Smart Grid technology.

The grants were issued in four program areas: public building and energy efficiency retrofits, green streets, special community initiatives, and water and waste water treatment efficiency.