WASHINGTON D.C. – In May the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Stephen Censky announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture launched an online portal to begin accepting applications for Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) grants. USDA plans to make available up to $100 million in competitive grants for activities designed to expand the sale and availability of ethanol and biodiesel fuels.
“As the coronavirus response continues, America’s energy independence has proven critical to our economic security now more than ever,” Deputy Secretary Censky said. “We know the positive impacts that affordable, abundant and clean-burning fuel provide to our country’s farmers and consumers. The Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program will help rural communities build stronger economies and will give consumers more choices when they fill up at the pump.”
USDA plans to make funds directly available to help transportation fueling and biodiesel distribution facilities convert to higher ethanol and biodiesel blends by sharing the costs related to the installation of fuel pumps, related equipment and infrastructure.
Electronic applications must be submitted by Aug. 13, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Paper applications will not be accepted. For additional information on the application window, see page 29394 of the May 15 Federal Register (PDF, 240 KB).
The USDA is making grants available for up to 50 percent of total eligible project costs, but not more than $5 million. Eligible recipients are vehicle fueling facilities, including, but not limited to, local fueling stations/locations, convenience stores, hypermarket fueling stations, fleet facilities, fuel terminal operations, midstream partners and/or distribution facilities.
The USDA is making available approximately $86 million for implementation activities related to higher blends of fuel ethanol, and approximately $14 million for implementation activities related to higher blends of biodiesel. Higher biofuel blends are fuels containing ethanol greater than 10 percent by volume and/or fuels containing biodiesel blends greater than five percent by volume.