The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced that applications are now being accepted for the latest round of funding under the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). The Renewable Fuels Association welcomed today’s news and stands ready to assist retailers and others apply for grants in the new $100 million program.
“This investment by USDA in lower-cost, lower-carbon biofuels will benefit consumers across the country, while also creating new market opportunities for America’s farmers and ethanol producers,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper, who joined USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack in Gibson City, Ill., this morning for the announcement. “USDA’s previous investments in biofuels infrastructure yielded huge dividends for drivers this summer, as higher blends like E15 and E85 were the most affordable options at the pump. We greatly appreciate the vision and leadership shown by Secretary Vilsack, and we are pleased by the Biden administration’s recognition that ethanol and other renewable fuels are an important tool in the quest to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”
This new round of HBIIP grants will cover up to 50 percent of total eligible project costs, but not more than $5 million per company, and is available for transportation fueling and fuel distribution facilities. The grant period will remain open for 90 days, with USDA anticipating making awards 90 days after the application deadline. The grant period is not to exceed 36 months. Based on the USDA’s prior experience with this program, it expects to make approximately 200 awards.
This funding round is separate from the additional $500 million for higher-blend infrastructure included in the recently enacted Inflation Reduction Act.
RFA and USDA will host a joint introductory webinar about the program on August 31. RFA has had a 100 percent success rate in assisting retailers to apply for and receive grants under this program; since 2020, RFA-supported grants led to infrastructure projects by 35 companies, totaling $74 million and covering 260 retail operations spanning 21 states. For more information, contact Cassie Mullen, RFA Market Development Director, at [email protected].