Iowa is 'Fueling Our Future' with more biofuel blender pumps

Iowa is 'Fueling Our Future' with more biofuel blender pumps

State officials awarded $2.49 million this week to help install 107 new biofuel blender pumps in Iowa.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey on Tuesday of this week announced that $2.49 million has been awarded through the "Fueling Our Future 100" initiative. The cost-share money will support the installation of 107 new blender pumps and eight underground storage tanks that can be used to distribute higher blends of renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. 

Related: USDA making more biofuel blender pumps available

This is the first round of funding through the program. Applications are due February 1 for the second round of funding. A full list of sites receiving the funding can be found here.

BOOST FOR BIOFUELS: Iowa officials have awarded $2.49 million in the first round of funding for the "Fueling Our Future 100" initiative. The cost-share money goes to fuel retailers to help pay for installing new blender pumps and tanks to dispense higher blends of biofuels.

"Iowa is the nation's leader in renewable fuel production. Every one of these fuel pumps that is being installed, as a result of this announcement, benefits our ag economy, supports good jobs for Iowa families and gives consumers more choices at the pump," Branstad said, in a speech to the 2016 Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit held Jan. 19 in Altoona. "This is a win-win situation for Iowa families and our economy as a whole."

Helping consumers gain access to ethanol and biodiesel
Also speaking to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit, Lt. Gov. Reynolds added, "Thanks to the support of our federal partners at USDA, the 'Fueling our Future 100' program is going to ensure that consumers in our state have greater access to biofuels. We're appreciative of companies like Five Star Co-op, New Century Farm Services, Kum & Go, STAR Energy and Three Rivers Farm Services Company for their efforts. By participating in this program, these fuel retailers are continuing to put Iowa on the forefront of an even greater renewable future."

Related: Study suggests biofuels have potential to reduce GHGs further

This program is a competitive bidding process but it is open to all owners of gas stations and other retail motor fueling sites in Iowa.

Installing 107 new blender pumps so far; and more to come
"We are excited to announce these 107 new blender pumps and hope other fuel retailers interested in offering additional renewable fuel options at their stations will consider applying as well. Retailers have until February 1 to submit their application for assistance through the program," says Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey. 

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The funding for the projects is from a $5 million competitive grant from the USDA Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership (BIP) program which Iowa has received to support the statewide initiative. All of the USDA grant funds must be matched by non-federal funds, including up to $2.5 million from the state of Iowa's own cost-share program: the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure program. The retail fueling sites applying for the assistance are also required to provide some of their own money as matching funds; a minimum of $2.5 million in total will come from the private funding.

Related: How biofuel from corn stover could impact grain markets

Apply now for the second round of the cost-share funding
Applications for the second round of funding through the program are due by 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016.

An estimated 187 blender pumps and 25 underground storage tanks 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 are to 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 and Land Stewardship's website at IowaAgriculture.gov under "Hot Topics." This new program is a partnership across state government, including collaboration between the Iowa Governor's office, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Transportation, and the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

Related: More biofuel pumps at Missouri gas stations

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