In this Jan. 14, 2021, file photo, solar panels stretch across 38 acres at the BNRG/Dirigo solar farm in Oxford. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Gov. Janet Mills unveiled on Thursday a $500,000 grant program to support the state’s fledging clean-energy sector.

That program, a joint initiative of the Governor’s Energy Office and the Maine Technology Institute, will make available grants to clean-energy startups to promote innovation and create jobs.

Mills announced the program at solar company ReVision Energy’s office in Montville as the nation marked Earth Day.

“Companies like ReVision Energy, which started as a two-person shop in Liberty, Maine, are showing how the clean energy economy creates good-paying, sustaining careers across all of Maine,” Mills said.

It’s the latest initiative from the Mills administration that aims to bolster the clean-energy sector with the goal of growing its workforce to 30,000 by 2030. It’s also part of the governor’s larger strategy to combat the rise in emissions responsible for climate change. In 2019, Mills pledged to set Maine on the path toward carbon neutrality by 2045.

“The bold climate and clean energy actions by the Mills Administration are driving demand for a new generation of professionals who can live and work here in Maine in long-lasting careers that pay well and will help further strengthen communities across our state,” said Vaughan Woodruff, the director of ReVision Energy’s training center.