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Contact: John Atwood, 202-482-4085
Thursday, June 14, 2012

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests in Nevada's Renewable Energy Cluster

Senator Reid and Governor Sandoval Support Efforts to Boost Commercialization of Clean Technologies

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA) today announced a $250,000 grant to the Nevada Institute for Renewable Energy Commercialization of Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada, to develop an online information network that will provide critical resources to Nevadans working to commercialize clean energy technologies.

"Investing in cutting-edge, job-creating technologies like clean energy is critical to the future of our economy, and is a top priority for the Obama Administration," said Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Matt Erskine. "This EDA grant will help businesses throughout Nevada by giving them access to a broad online knowledge base, supporting their efforts to grow their product lines, and helping them to expand into new markets and create new jobs."

"Growing Nevada's clean energy businesses will help secure our state's energy independence and promote long-term growth," said Nevada Senator Harry Reid. "Clean technology businesses need opportunities to bring their concepts to market so Nevada's economy can benefit from clean, affordable sources of energy. I am pleased NIREC will now have more resources to develop an information network to help local clean energy businesses and entrepreneurs develop and commercialize their new concepts. Investing in a new generation of clean technology innovators in Nevada will enable our economy to grow and become more diverse."

"This Spark Plug project will create an Internet-based resource that offers a self-guided education program that is focused on getting clean energy ideas out of the lab and into the market faster," said Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval. "This resource will provide virtual networking space to university researchers as well as entrepreneurs, and will also spur job creation through commercialization."

"Accelerating the growth of a clean energy economy in Nevada is an economic imperative at multiple levels," said Walt Borland, President and CEO of NIREC. "We therefore applaud the continuing efforts of the EDA, Senator Reid and Governor Sandoval to support clean energy innovation and commercialization programs in the state."

Nevada has abundant geothermal, solar and wind power resources, along with active research and entrepreneurial communities focused on renewable energy opportunities. The EDA investment will support the continued growth of the renewable energy cluster in the state by funding the development of an online information system that will give Nevadans improved access to relevant information designed to support a relentless focus on developing market-driven solutions to real-world problems in the renewable energy sector. The online information system will be a new best-in-class virtual platform capable of contributing directly to the achievement of Nevada's economic development goals.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.