WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is accepting applications for $100 million in grants to increase the sale and use of biofuels derived from U.S. agricultural products.
USDA is making the funding available through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). This program seeks to market higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel by sharing the costs to build and retrofit biofuel-related infrastructure such as pumps, dispensers and storage tanks.
“The Biden-Harris Administration recognizes that rural America is the key to reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and giving Americans cleaner, more affordable options at the pump,” Vilsack said. “Biofuels are homegrown fuels. Expanding the availability of higher-blend fuels is a win for American farmers, the rural economy and hardworking Americans who pay the price here at home when we depend on volatile fuel sources overseas.”
This additional funding follows an April investment of $5.6 million through HBIIP that is expected to increase the availability of biofuels by 59.5 million gallons per year in California, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and South Dakota.
In June, USDA also announced that it had provided $700 million in relief funding to more than 100 biofuel producers in 25 states who experienced market losses due to the pandemic.
These investments reflect the goals of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. The law includes another $500 million aimed at increasing the sale and use of agricultural commodity-based fuels. This funding will allow USDA to provide additional grants for infrastructure improvements related to blending, storing, supplying and distributing biofuels.
Under HBIIP, USDA provides grants to transportation fueling and distribution facilities. These grants lower the out-of-pocket costs for businesses to install and upgrade infrastructure and related equipment, according to USDA.
The $100 million available now will support a variety of fueling operations, including filling stations, convenience stores and larger retail stores that also sell fuel.
The grants will cover up to 50% of total eligible project costs—but not more than $5 million—to help owners of transportation fueling and fuel distribution facilities convert to higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel. These higher-blend fuels must be greater than 10% for ethanol and greater than 5% for biodiesel.
Applications must be submitted to USDA by November 21, 2022, at 4:30 p.m. ET. Visit the HBIIP webpage to learn more, sign up for webinars and apply.
Upcoming USDA webinars include:
- The Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program Overview and Enrollment Orientation – Tuesday, August 30 at 2 p.m. ET | Registration
- The Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program Environmental Review Process for Applicants – Tuesday, September 13 at 2 p.m. ET | Registration
- The Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program Transportation Fueling Facility Applicant Deep Dive – Tuesday, September 20 at 2 p.m. ET | Registration
- The Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program Transportation Fueling Facility Applicant (Rail/Marine) Deep Dive – Thursday, September 22 at 2 p.m. ET | Registration
- The Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program Fuel Distribution Facility Applicant Deep Dive – Tuesday, September 27 at 2 p.m. ET | Registration
- Office Hours (tentative) – Wednesday, October 5 – 2 p.m. ET; Tuesday, October 18 at 2 p.m. ET