The USDA has made $100 million in grants available this year for the newly created Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). Through this program, transportation fueling and biodiesel distribution facilities will be able to apply for grants to help install, retrofit, and/or upgrade fuel storage, dispenser pumps, related equipment and infrastructure to be able to sell ethanol and biodiesel. Cost-share grants and/or incentives will be made available for fuel ethanol/biodiesel blends such as E15 or higher.
What does this program do?
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.
Who may apply?
Transportation fueling facilities including:
- Fueling stations, convenience stores, hypermarket fueling stations, fleet facilities, and similar entities with capital investments;
Fuel distribution facilities, such as:
- Terminal operations, depots, and midstream partners, and similarly equivalent operations.
What funding is available?
Under HBIIP up to $100 million is made available to eligible participants. Approximately $86 million will be made available to transportation fueling facilities including:
- Fueling stations, convenience stores, hypermarket fueling stations, fleet facilities, and similar entities with capital investments) for eligible implementation activities related to higher blends of fuel ethanol greater than 10 percent ethanol, such as E15 or higher; Approximately $14 million will be made available to transportation fueling facilities and fuel distribution facilities including:
- Terminal operations, depots, and midstream partners, for eligible implementation activities related to higher blends of biodiesel greater than 5 percent biodiesel, such as B20 or higher.
- See the Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA)
What are the terms?
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, whichever is less.
How do we get started?
To apply, visit the HBIIP website here. The deadline is August 13. Also, check out the below learning resources to make navigating the application process a little smoother.
Attend this upcoming HBIIP 101 webinar on July 9 at 1:00 p.m. CST which covers the environmental review process. This is an extremely important part of the process. The USDA urges applicants/potential applicants to work with them on this process to ensure timely completion of the application. See Jeff Carpenter’s contact information below.
Past webinars are available at this link. Click on the Events menu to access them.
Who can answer questions?
For Nebraska, contact Jeff Carpenter, USDA Energy Coordinator/Rural Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-437-5554.
Why Install Higher Ethanol Blends?
- Give patrons more options
- Bolster our rural economies
- Show your commitment to improving global health
The corn ethanol industry is the largest biofuel producer in the country, with production increasing from about 1.6 billion gallons in 2000 to just over 14 billion gallons in 2014, stimulating economic activity in rural communities.
Because it’s made in America, producers are able to sell ethanol at a cost that offsets the expense (and dangerous toxins) of premium gasoline. This in turn makes a fuel that’s easier on patrons pocketbooks, reduces tailpipe emissions, and it reduces greenhouse gases from traffic pollution by a whopping 42%!
Who Has Added Higher Blends?
- There are 85+ stations selling E15 in Nebraska. Since January 2019, the Nebraska Ethanol Board has added 30 to our ethanol stations map.
- As of January 31, Growth Energy reports there are 2,081 retail locations in 30 states offering E15. Click here for updates of retail locations and terminals.
- To learn more about getting started with installing higher ethanol blends, reach out to the Board and/or consider attending one of our free E15 Fuel Retailer Workshops. Ethanol Producer Magazine featured the E15 Workshops, which have inspired several fuel retailers to take the next step. Read it here.