With the USDA’s Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) deadline just one month away, the Renewable Fuels Association reminds retailers and other interested parties that any further delays may threaten their ability to complete the registration and application process by the deadline.
“Not unlike similar programs that have come before this, the learning curve with HBIIP has definitely had its fair share of challenges; however, none of them are insurmountable and every day we find ourselves learning the nuances of this system as well as tricks and tips on how to overcome them,” wrote RFA Director of Market Development Cassie Mullen in a recent Ethanol Producer article that walks through the application process. “As retailers approach the final laps in this race, it’s now more important than ever to have every tool available at your disposal to secure a successful award.”
Among the important tools available to interested retailers are: 1) application assistance from grant-writing experts; 2) equipment compatibility analyses and site surveys; and 3) assistance related to pursuing additional funding opportunities for equipment upgrades. These services are provided to retailers by RFA and the National Corn Growers Association.
HBIIP is a $100 million retailer grant program designed to expand the availability and sale of higher blends of ethanol like E15 and E85/Flex Fuel, as well as other renewable fuel blends. To expand ethanol fuel infrastructure, approximately $86 million will be made available to transportation fueling facilities including fueling stations, convenience stores, hypermarket fueling stations, fleet facilities, and similar entities. Awards to successful applicants will be in the form of cost-share grants for up to 50 percent of total eligible project costs, but not to exceed $5 million per applicant. Details are available here. Importantly, applications must be submitted, online only, by 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 13.
In recent weeks, RFA held a series of seminars for potential applicants for the program, with the support of the National Corn Growers Association, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and others. Links to the webinar slides and a recording of one of the sessions are at the RFA BHIIP information page. Additionally, staff are available to help retailers with the process. Applicants are invited to contact Mullen via email or by calling (832) 415-7882.