(AP Photo, File)

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm will receive one of Sweden’s highest awards Thursday when King Carl XVI Gustaf presents her with Sweden’s Insignia of First Commander, Order of the Polar Star.

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The award is in recognition of the work Granholm has done to encourage relationships between Michigan and Sweden to promote clean energy.

After Granholm made an August 2007 trade trip to Sweden, the king visited Michigan in 2008 to preside over the groundbreaking at Flint’s Center of Energy Excellence. The center is a collaboration between Swedish Biogas International, Kettering University and the city of Flint to produce clean energy from waste removed from the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

Granholm and the king also co-hosted a climate change conference in Dearborn during that visit.

The king will present Granholm with the award Thursday afternoon at the Royal Palace in Stockholm. Those attending will include U.S. Ambassador to Sweden Matthew Barzun, the Swedish consul general for Michigan, Lennart Johansson, and Michigan Economic Development Corp. President and CEO Greg Main.

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The governor’s parents, Victor and Shirley Granholm, also will be at the ceremony.

Granholm said in a statement Tuesday that the award doesn’t just recognize her “but everyone who is committed to making Michigan a leader in the clean energy economy.”

The Order of the Polar Star was created in 1798. It’s awarded to foreigners and members of the Swedish royal family for services to Sweden. Some of Granholm’s ancestors came from Sweden.

The governor is in Sweden for her second trade trip to the Scandinavian country and her 11th overseas trade trip since 2004. She talked to companies in France last week.

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The trade trips are paid for with private money raised from businesses through the Michigan Economic Development Corp.
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