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MN gears up for more jobs in clean energy

Minnesota was among three states and one U.S. territory that were selected by the National Governors Association to participate in a program to encourage growth of their clean energy industries.

Arizona, Mississippi and Puerto Rico were also chosen to participate in the NGA’s Policy Academy on Targeting Clean Energy for Economic Development.

Participants will learn strategies that combine economic development programs with energy policies, enabling them to grow their markets for clean energy technologies, products and services.

“This is a terrific opportunity for Minnesota to further develop industries in areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency and biofuels,” said Katie Clark Sieben, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. “Disruptive technologies could drive massive economic transformations in the coming years, and we want Minnesota to be at the forefront of this global opportunity.”

As part of the policy academy, Minnesota will receive a $5,000 grant to support a governor’s summit along with travel support for four team members to participate in two policy academy meetings.

The Minnesota team also will receive customized technical assistance from the NGA Center for Best Practices throughout the project, which will run from November 2013 to September 2014.

Commissioner Sieben and Ellen Anderson, who chairs the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, have been designated as Minnesota team leaders.

Funding for the project was provided by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy within the U.S. Department of Energy, with additional support from Advanced Energy Economy, a national trade association that represents the interests of the advanced energy industry.