LINCOLN, NEB – This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced plans to accept $450 million in grant applications for the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). The funding, which comes from designation within the Inflation Reduction Act, will have application windows that run quarterly from July 1, 2023, through Sept. 30, 2024. Approximately $90 million will be made available each quarter to fueling stations, stores and facilities who implement higher ethanol blends such as E15 and higher, and biodiesel blends greater than 5 percent, such as B20.
According to USDA, awards to successful applicants will be in the form of cost-share grants for up to 75 percent of total eligible project costs, but not to exceed $5 million, whichever is less. Full program instructions and details, including changes made to improve HBIIP, can be found at: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/energy-programs/higher-blends-infrastructure-incentive-program.
“Investing in infrastructure just makes sense for a retailer to keep their equipment up-to-date,” said Reid Wagner, executive director for the Nebraska Ethanol Board (NEB). “Grant assistance, especially in conjunction with modified tax credits from the recently passed E15 Access Standard in Nebraska (LB562), makes these investments economical. These funds are a great opportunity for all retailers to invest in higher blends of ethanol like E15 and E30 to provide a healthier fuel choice to all our Nebraska communities. We appreciate the USDA re-opening this program and helping support our mission of making ethanol more widely available.”
The purpose of the HBIIP is to significantly increase the sales and use of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel by expanding the infrastructure for renewable fuels derived from U.S. agricultural products. The program is also intended to encourage a more comprehensive approach to market higher blends by sharing the costs related to building out biofuel-related infrastructure.
NEB compiled resources to make the application process easier, including a brief titled Infrastructure Compatibility with Higher Blends of Ethanol. Access this tool on the agency website at here. Applicants may reach out to the NEB office with any questions at 402-471-2941.