The U.S Department of Agriculture has announced another round of funding for its successful Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program, or HBIIP, and the Renewable Fuels Association once again offers itself as a technical resource to interested retailers. Approximately $22 million is being made available for fueling stations, convenience stores, hypermarket fueling stations, and fleet facilities to add higher ethanol blends like E15 and E85.
“We are very proud of our earlier work that helped fuel retailers across the country successfully apply for and receive funding under the HBIIP grant program, and the RFA staff is ready to roll up its sleeves again to help retailers tap into the remaining funds available,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “This effort by USDA will make a significant difference in the availability of higher blends of low-carbon ethanol, and our technical resources can continue to help ease the burden for dozens of retailers planning projects at hundreds of locations.”
The short application window will open for just 30 days and will start on December 21, closing on January 19. RFA encourages anyone considering applying for this program to act immediately, as the process will take the bulk of the application window for most applicants. 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 $3 million, whichever is less.
RFA assisted numerous fuel retailers and marketers with the application process earlier this year. With support from the National Corn Growers Association, RFA worked with others to assist three dozen retailer companies. These applications assisted by RFA covered more than 200 locations across 21 states. Combined, these locations sell more than 250 million gallons of gasoline annually. RFA provided services and assistance for $21 million in grant requests, which are being now being fulfilled and will be matched with another $31 million in private funding for a total investment in higher blends infrastructure of more than $52 million.