The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBCS), branches of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, recently announced the availability of funds for the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP).
These agencies are offering up to $100 million in grants to eligible organizations ready to expand the sales and use of ethanol and biodiesel fuels in the U.S.
“Funds will be made directly available to assist transportation fueling and biodiesel distribution facilities with converting to higher ethanol and biodiesel blends by sharing the costs related to the installation of fuel pumps, related equipment and infrastructure,” said a USDA press release.
Grants are available to vehicle fueling facilities such as fueling stations, fleet facilities, convenience stores, fuel terminal operations, midstream partners and distribution facilities, etc. These funds will cover up to 50% of total eligible project costs up to $5 million.
“This program will share the costs related to the upgrading of fuel dispensers (gas and diesel pumps), related equipment and other infrastructure required at a location to ensure the environmentally safe availability of fuel containing ethanol blends greater than 10% or fuel containing biodiesel blends greater than 5%,” the HBIIP website said.
According to the USDA website, this program was designed to help increase the private sector supply of renewable energy therefore helping increase America’s energy independence. HBIIP is also helping to bring this technology to more rural areas across the country.
E15, a blend of 15% ethanol and 85% regular gasoline, can be used in 90% of the cars on the road today according to the American Coalition for Ethanol. General consumer use has grown steadily since E15 was approved in 2011. This program is expected to grow the ethanol market by 15 billion gallons in 2020.
Applications for the grants are open now until August 13, 2020. A checklist for the items needed to apply can be found on the HBIIP website as well as instructions on how to request access to the online application system.
Questions about the HBIIP program can be directed to Anthony Crooks by phone (202) 205-9322 or by email EnergyPrograms@usda.gov.