- By Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Global AgInvesting Media
USDA Awards 21 States Grants to Fund Biofuel Infrastructure Upgrades
U.S. Agriculture Secretary, Tom Visack, announced that 21 states will receive grants under the Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership (BIP) to fund the addition of needed infrastructure to support the increase in supply of biofuels to American drivers.
Under the BIP program, the USDA will award grants, which will be matched by states, to expand the infrastructure needed to increase the availability of higher blends of ethanol. The funds provided from the Commodity Credit Corporation must be used to fund the cost of pump installation, and related infrastructure costs associated with the distribution of higher blends such as E15 and E85 at stations.
The matching funds may be used to fund additional ancillary costs such as education, marketing, data collection, program evaluation, and administrative costs.
Since the $100 million program was announced in May 2015, the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Farm Services Agency (FSA) has received request applications totaling $130 million. Given its 1:1 match provided by private and state resources, the USDA forecasts that the grants issued under the BIP will fund the addition of 5,000 biofuel pumps at 1,400 stations across the U.S, doubling the number of stations that offer intermediate blends of ethanol nationwide.
"The Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership is one approach USDA is using to aggressively pursue investments in American-grown renewable energy to create new markets for U.S. farmers and ranchers, help Americans save money on their energy bills, support America's clean energy economy, cut carbon pollution and reduce dependence on foreign oil and costly fossil fuels,” said Secretary Vilsack in a USDA release.
The funding for each state will be announced at a later date.