USDA Awards $19 Million in Fuel Infrastructure Grants to Expand Access to Domestic Biofuels

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Jan. 11 that USDA is awarding $19 million in grants to U.S. business owners to increase the availability of domestic biofuels in 22 states and give Americans cleaner, more affordable fuel options.

The department is making the awards through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program.

“By increasing the supply of biofuels made here in the U.S., we are strengthening our energy independence, lowering costs for American families, creating new streams of income for agricultural producers and bringing good-paying jobs to people in rural communities,” Vilsack said.

Vilsack made the announcement during his visit to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit in Altoona.

He was awarded the Lifetime Champion of Renewable Fuels Award by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association during the event.

Through this most recent tranche of awards, business owners are receiving $19 million to expand access to domestic biofuels in 22 states and strengthen America’s energy independence.

For example:

  • Bulk Petroleum Corporation will leverage $5 million in grant funds to install 73 E15 dispensers, 7 E85 dispensers, 33 B20 dispensers, 31 ethanol storage tanks, and 22 biodiesel storage tanks at 24 fueling stations located in Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, Indiana, and Kentucky.
  • Casey’s will use a $5 million grant to install ethanol-blend fuel dispensers at 111 fueling stations in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota. Using these investments, the company aims to increase the amount of biofuels it supplies by 50 million gallons a year.
  • Piasa Enterprises Inc. in Illinois will use a $200,000 grant to install two 30,000-gallon biodiesel storage tanks and associated piping at its Hartford fuel-distribution center. The company projects an increase in the amount of biodiesel sold by 2 million gallons per year.
  • In Maryland, AC&T Inc. will install two ethanol fuel dispensers and one ethanol storage tank. Through this project, AC&T owners aim to expand the amount of ethanol they supply by over 106,000 gallons a year.

The full list of states to receive funding is Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin.

HBIIP provides grants to fueling-station and distribution-facility owners, including marine, rail and heating-oil facilities to help expand access to domestic biofuels, a clean and affordable source of energy.

These investments help business owners install and upgrade infrastructure such as fuel pumps, dispensers and storage tanks.

Expanding the availability of homegrown biofuels strengthens energy independence, creates new revenue for American businesses and brings good-paying jobs to rural communities.

In June 2023, USDA made $450 million available in Inflation Reduction Act funding through the HBIIP to expand the use and availability of higher-blend biofuels.

That same month, USDA also announced the first round of IRA-funded HBIIP awardees.

USDA continues to accept applications for funding to expand access to domestic biofuels.

These grants will support the infrastructure needed to reduce out-of-pocket costs for transportation-fueling and distribution facilities to install and upgrade biofuel-related infrastructure such as pumps, dispensers and storage tanks.

There are three quarterly application windows left, and the program ends Sept. 30.

The next application deadline is March 31.

For more information, go to the HBIIP webpage.

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