Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, along with Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, announced yesterday that the Oak Street Station at Inwood in northwest Iowa, and Farmers Cooperative at Mount Ayr in southwest Iowa, have been selected as recipients of funds through the "Fueling Our Future" pilot program. Each project will receive $125,000 in cost share funding to support the increased usage of higher blends of both ethanol and biodiesel.
"When we announced the 'Fueling Our Future' initiative in October 2013, we set a goal of expanding access to higher blends of ethanol," said Branstad. "I'm pleased today to be able to announce the two sites that have been selected, which will help grow the local economy and expand access to ethanol and biodiesel."
Farmers Cooperative plans to build a new fueling site at its Country Store in Mount Ayr to offer E10, registered E15, E30 and E85 and biodiesel blends of B5, B10, B20 and B99. The project was also selected to receive $100,000 through the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure program. Total cost of the project is $577,559.
The Oak Street Station will build a new site in the northwest town of Inwood that will offer renewable fuels in five dispensers. E10, E15, E30 and E85 will be available for ethanol customers.
Diesel customers will have access to B5 year-round and B99.9 will be offered to independent jobbers and for special use customers, such as tractor pullers and other blenders, during the summer months. The project is also eligible for funds through the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure program. Total cost of the project is $488,944.
Projects focus on offering higher blends of renewable fuels
"Governor Branstad and I have been strong proponents of renewable fuels. We recognize that Iowa's success in renewable energy is tied to our abundant access to natural resources and our innovative producers who leverage them," Reynolds said. "We are pleased to make today's announcement and hope this will become a model for the nation to follow Iowa's lead in adopting E-30 for increased consumer choice, cleaner air and better consumer access."
Iowa received the $250,000 to support the Fueling Our Future pilot project from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality or CMAQ program to reduce particulate matter vehicle emissions by increasing the use of higher blends of bio-based fuels, specifically ethanol and biodiesel. Applicants were required to provide at least a 50% match to receive funding. The projects were selected by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Board.
Applicants must provide at least a 50% match to get funding
Iowa State University will work closely with both retailers to evaluate consumer perceptions and the impact of increased access to mid-level biofuels blending options, including impacts on improved air quality.
"Iowa has benefited tremendously from the growth of the renewable fuels industry and it is natural that we would take a leadership role in expanding access to these clean burning, domestically produced renewable fuels," Northey said.
The Fueling Our Future program was a joint initiative of the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, the Iowa Department of Transportation, Iowa State University and the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Board. Branstad currently is the vice chair of the Governors Biofuels Coalition, which aims to help increase consumer choice and diversify our nation's transportation fuels through bipartisan engagement on a variety of policy issues, like supporting a robust Renewable Fuel Standard.
IRFA applauds decision to expand access to biofuels
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association applauded state officials for continuing to expand consumer access to low-cost, homegrown renewable fuels.
"We commend Gov. Branstad for his unwavering support in making Iowa a model state for fuel choice and consumer access to clean-burning renewable fuels," says IRFA managing director Lucy Norton. "With the help of Gov. Branstad, IDALS and the Iowa DOT, Iowa is raising the bar to show the nation that higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel are the preferred fuels."
"Based on the consumer response to higher levels of renewable fuels at our Creston location, Farmers Cooperative wants to add more blender pumps where they are needed," says Farmers Cooperative Creston location manager Darin Schlapia. "Mount Ayr is the hub of Ringgold County and we want to capture that customer base by offering more American-made fuel options. We're pooling the Co-op members' resources to drive profitability and offer more competitively priced fueling options not otherwise available."
"At Oak Street Station, we have a passion for renewable fuels and want to help grow the industry," says station accountant Lisa VanRegenmorter. "Putting in blender pumps and biodiesel will continue our support for biofuels, provide fuel choices for customers, and supply customer data to support the state's Fueling the Future initiative."
For more information visit the IRFA website.