The Tar Heel state is seeking to give a boost to its “green” and alternative energy focused entrepreneurs.

The is accepting applications for $1 million in grants by small companies developing environmentally friendly technologies. The grants were approved by the General Assembly last year.

The N.C. Green Business Fund grants can be for as much as $100,000.

“The Green Business Fund helps encourage the growth of North Carolina’s clean energy economy,” Gov. Mike Easley said in a statement. “These grants will tap our state’s entrepreneurial talent and help North Carolina’s small businesses develop innovative technologies that are critical to our future growth.”

According to the program’s Web site, it will focus on three areas:

1. Development of the biofuels industry in the State.

2. Development of the green building industry in the State

3. Attraction and leverage of private sector investments and entrepreneurial growth in environmentally conscious clean technology and renewable energy products and businesses.

Eligible companies include those with 100 or fewer employees and are pursuing technology that has economic as well as environment benefits.

Deadline for application is April 30.

The Board of Science and Technology, which is part of the Department of Commerce, oversees the grant program. The motto at the Commerce department is “The State of Minds.”

Earlier this week at the Emerging Issues Forum in Raleigh, Easley announced plans to launch a program to help develop “plug-in cars.” The research program will be developed by North Carolina State University. NCSU already is researching development of hybrid vehicles as well as alternative fuels.