Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey recently announced funds are now available through the new "Fueling Our Future 100" initiative. Interested fuel retailers in Iowa can apply for cost-share funding to assist with the purchase and installation of blender pumps and underground storage tank (UST) infrastructure for higher blends of ethanol.
"We continue to see that when consumers have a choice at the pump they will choose to increase the amount of clean burning, homegrown renewable fuels they use," says Northey. "Through this program we will see a total investment of $10 million to help build the renewable fuels infrastructure in the state."
Federal funds will be matched by private funding sources
Iowa received a $5 million competitive grant from the USDA Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership (BIP) program to support the initiative. These funds will be matched by non-federal funds, including $2.5 million from the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program (RFIP). The fueling sites applying for assistance will also be required to provide a minimum of $2.5 million.
An estimated 187 blender pumps and 25 UST will be installed to provide consumers with access to higher blends of ethanol through the program.
Pumps and tanks funded through this program are currently required to be operational by December 31, 2016 and continue operations for the intended purpose of dispensing higher blends of ethanol through December 30, 2021. More information about the program, a copy of the application and other materials can be found on the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship website IowaAgriculture.gov; look under "Hot Topics."
Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015.
A webinar with more information on the program and application process will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 9:30 a.m. Retailers and cooperatives considering applying can register and participate in the webinar by visiting attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8410561735496596994.
This new program is a partnership across state government, including collaboration between the Governor's office, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Transportation, and Iowa Economic Development Authority.
Motorists to benefit from more renewable fueling options
"This announcement that the Iowa Department of Agriculture has been awarded $5 million to install an estimated 187 blender pumps, through USDA's Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership, is encouraging," says Lucy Norton, managing director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. Iowa fuel retailers can now apply for the federal funding, as well as state grants available through Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program (RFIP). Applications are available on the IDALS' website.
"Thanks to USDA's blender pump program, Iowans will now be able to benefit from a wider availability of E15 and E85," says Norton. "More blender pumps in Iowa mean more competition at the pump, resulting in even lower fuel prices, better air quality and stronger energy security."
IRFA will host another free retailer workshop December 7
ProtecFuel and the IRFA will be hosting a free retailer workshop on Monday, Dec. 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to assist retailers in understanding and applying for grant funding. For more information and to register for the free retailer workshop, please visit: IowaRFA.org/ProtecWorkshop.
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program is designed to assist retail operators of motor fuel dispensing sites or fueling stations in conversion of their equipment to allow the expanded availability of renewable fuels in Iowa. The contribution from USDA's BIP expands this existing program with the goal of adding an additional 187 blender pumps. Eligible projects may receive both state and federal funding through this one-time opportunity.
The grant program will be administered through RFIP, with application periods set as follows:
· December 31, 2015: Round One Application Deadline
· January 1, 2016: Round Two Application Period Open
· January 15, 2016: Round One Grants Announced
· January 31, 2016: Round Two Application Deadline
· February 15, 2016: Round Two Grants Announced
More details on the program, including applications, are at iowaagriculture.gov/agMarketing.asp.
Iowa is the nation's leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing 3.9 billion gallons annually, including nearly 55 million gallons of annual cellulosic ethanol production capacity. In addition, Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually. The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association was formed in 2002 to represent the state's liquid renewable fuels industry. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development. For more information visit IowaRFA.org.