USDA Reopens Biofuel Grants

Fuel retailers can apply for aid to install fuel dispensing and storage equipment for higher-level blends.

December 21, 2020

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has reopened a 30-day window for fuel retailers and distributors to apply for up to $100 million in competitive grants to use toward biofuel-related infrastructure to boost the sales and use of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel.

Applications can be submitted starting today, December 21, until Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

The Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) funds are focused on retail fueling sites and biodiesel distribution facilities by sharing the costs related to the installation of fuel pumps, related equipment and infrastructure. The new program is the next generation of a previous effort administered from 2016–19, which also had the goal of providing $100 million in combined funds to promote the distribution of higher-ethanol blended fuels.

The agency first announced the grant program this past May and set an August 13 deadline to apply.

Transportation fueling facilities include fueling stations, convenience stores, hypermarket fueling stations, fleet facilities and similar entities with capital investments, USDA said. Fuel distribution facilities, such as terminal operations, depots and midstream partners and similarly equivalent operations also are invited to apply for funding.

Awards to successful applicants will be in the form of cost-share grants for up to 50% of total eligible project costs, but not to exceed $3 million, whichever is less, USDA said.