WASHINGTON — The Renewable Fuels Association is proud to announce that the Power Energy Corporation (PEC) has been awarded a $1.44 million grant from Illinois to offer higher ethanol blends at 20 retail stations in the state. The grant, signed June 30, is from the state of Illinois' Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity as part of the USDA's Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership (BIP) Program. The funding will be used to help install underground storage tanks and new dispensers that will offer E15, E30 and E85, as well as biodiesel, at 20 fuel retail stations. All of these stations are located within the Chicagoland area, an RFG market. This will allow E15 to be sold year-round to consumers that drive 2001 and newer model year vehicles. The RFA assisted PEC with station evaluations and recommendations on equipment configurations. RFA will continue to assist PEC throughout the grant execution process, equipment installation and product offering. PEC will utilize RFA's Misfueling Mitigation Plan (MMP), the only EPA-approved MMP. "I am very thankful for the efforts of USDA and the state of Illinois to expand retail infrastructure to support higher ethanol blends," said PEC owner Sam Odeh. "PEC is a strong supporter, and this effort will bring more fueling options to the Chicagoland area. I am also thankful for the leadership and continued relationship with Illinois Corn and RFA as we move forward." "We are pleased that PEC is helping to expand consumer access to higher ethanol blends," said RFA Vice President of Industry Relations Robert White. "Sam understands the consumer benefits when there are more choices at the pump. We thank him for his leadership and look forward to more stations offering higher ethanol blends in the near future." PEC estimates these stations will generate an additional 3.1 million gallons in ethanol sales above today's E10-only sales. Infrastructure work will begin immediately, with four to six locations open this year, and all stations open next year.