Opened August 23, 2022, Closes November 21, 2022, 3:30 p.m. CST.

The USDA is targeting resources and investments, including ethanol and biodiesel, to improve the strength and resiliency of America’s sustainable fuel markets. Through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP), transportation fueling and fuel 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.

HBIIP paves the way to economic recovery for America’s biofuel producers, stimulates a critical market for U.S. farmers and ranchers, and moves the country closer to President Biden’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

What does this program do?

HBIIP significantly increases 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 share costs related to building out biofuel-related infrastructure.

Cost-share grants and/or incentives will be made available for fuel ethanol blends higher than 10%, such as E15 or higher, and biodiesel blends higher than 5%, such as B20 or higher.

Who may apply?

Approximately $75 million is available for transportation fueling facilities including: fueling stations, convenience stores, hypermarket fueling stations, fleet facilities (including rail and marine), and similar entities with capital investments;

Approximately $25 million is available for fuel distribution facilities, such as: terminal operations, depots, and midstream partners, and similarly equivalent operations.

What funding is available?

Funds may only be used for eligible equipment, infrastructure and related expenses to support the sale and use of higher biofuel blends.

There is a matching funds (cost sharing) requirement of at least $1 for every $1 in grant funds provided. It is:

• Required to receive a HBIIP grant
• Secured by applicant – must have written commitments, such as bank statements for cash and Letters of Commitment for in-kind contributions
• Remainder – All eligible project costs not covered by Grant funds
• Consist of cash and In-kind contributions
• No in-kind from applicants
• Not from other federal grants
• Passive tax equity contributions allowed

Eligible Costs:

• Incurred after Grant Period;
• Purchase, installation, and/or retrofitting of fuel dispensers related equipment and infrastructure to support higher blend fuel sales;
• Construction, replacement, improvements;
• Fees – construction permits, and licenses;
• Professional service fees.

Ineligible Costs:

• Renewable diesel projects;
• Used equipment and vehicles;
• Construction or equipment costs that would be incurred regardless of the HBIIP project;
• Purchase real property or land;
• Lease payments;
• Expenses associated with applying for HBIIP; and
• Expenses associated with reporting, disbursement, performance and service of HBIIP.

Due to supply chain delays, the USDA encourages retailers applying for HBIIP funding to start ordering equipment and scheduling contractors early in the process. Costs can be incurred once a complete application is submitted, however no construction can begin until the agency completes its environmental review(s).

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. Also, check out the below learning resources to make navigating the application process a little smoother. Applications opened Aug. 23, 2022 and close Nov. 21, 2022, 3:30 p.m. CST.

  • Start with the HBIIP Checklist Online Application System, which can be found under the To Apply tab on the USDA’s HBIIP webpage.
  • We recommend registering for a SAM number right away. You must have this before obtaining access to your application and the process may take 4-8 weeks.
  • Once the application period opens, you have 90 days to complete your submission. You must have registered with SAM to receive access. Depending on the size of your operation and what resources you have assisting with the process, we recommend starting right away to ensure you have enough time.
  • Prior to selling higher ethanol blends, retailers must notify the EPA with plans for Misfueling Mitigation and Compliance Survey. You can adopt existing Misfueling Mitigation Plans. Find examples here and here. Read this for more details about both plans.
  • The Nebraska Ethanol Board keeps a small number of labels in our office that are free for fuel retailers. To ask questions about labeling or to order, click here.

Who can answer questions?

Jeff Carpenter, HBIIP Manager

USDA Rural Development HigherBlendsGrants-access@usda.gov 402-318-8195

USDA Webinars & Resources

For USDA checklists and important resources, visit the To Apply tab on the HBIIP website.

Webinars coming soon!


American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) launched a series of short, fuel marketer-focused videos (linked below) breaking down the HBIIP application process into manageable pieces to encourage retailers to apply. The videos were produced in coordination with USDA.

Try the Flex Check E15 compatibility tool to see if your existing equipment is compatible with E15.

Step 1 – Getting Started On Your HBIIP Application

Step 2A – Hurry Up and (Get This Stuff Done While You) Wait

Step 2B – Hurry Up and (Get This Stuff Done While You) Wait

Step 3 – I’m In! Navigating the HBIIP Applications

Step 4 – Devil’s In the Details – Filling in the Application

Step 5A – Station Information (and Tips to Raise Your Score)

Step 5B – Match Vs. Capped Costs (and Tips to Raise Your Score)

Step 6 – Financial Info: Show USDA the Money

Technical & Grant Writing Support

Several partners in the ethanol industry are available to make the process for applying easier. Some of these services do incur costs. These partners can assist your team with:

  • USDA Application entry (Portal)
  • Technical Report
  • Letters of support
  • Matching funds
  • Government Forms
  • Environmental Checklist(s), and Environmental Report(s)
  • Review
  • Client communication
  • Final meeting/walkthrough with your team
  • And more!

Ron Lamberty, American Coalition for Ethanol, Sr. Vice President, at rlamberty@ethanol.org or 605-977-7622.

Randy Gard, BossFuel Management Solutions, Chief Operations Officer, at randy.gard@bosselman.com or 308-380-5767.

Jamey Cline, Christianson PLLP,  Business Development Director, at jcline@christiansoncpa.com or 573- 680-6499.

Michael Lorenz, Growth Energy, Sr. VP of Market Development, at mlorenz@growthenergy.org or 814-330-2781.

Amber Rucker, Nebraska Ethanol Board, Marketing & Finance Manager, at amber.rucker@nebraska.gov or  402-471-2941.

Cassie Mullen, Renewable Fuels Association, Director of Market Development, at cmullen@ethanolrfa.org or 832-415-7882.

Why Sell Higher Ethanol Blends?

  • Receive a tax credit! Learn more here.
  • Give patrons more options (healthier and more affordable!)
  • Bolster our rural economies
  • Show your commitment to improving global health

In Nebraska, E85 is available at 124 fueling stations. E15 is available at 112 fueling stations, and that number continues to grow. 

“At the retail level, very simply put, E15 is better fuel and it costs less. There is now nothing standing in your way today to make the transition from E10. There are incentives with LB1261e, there’s consumer demand, there are certainly price pressures, and increased availability at the terminals. This is a win for everybody…retailers, legislators, farmers and ranchers, and especially users of ethanol who support Nebraska’s economy, help the environment, and save money every time they fill up.”

Randy Gard, COO
Bosselman Enterprises was an early adopter of E15 at many of its Pump and Pantry locations across the state. They continue to see double digit sales growth for E15 every year.

By selling a 10% blend at the pump, fuel retailers are already helping Nebraskans save at least $275 million per year. That savings increases when higher blends are figured in.

Because ethanol is 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 47%!

Who Has Added Higher Blends?

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.