On March 8, the Iowa governor’s office announced $2.5 million has been awarded through the second round of the “Fueling Our Future 100” initiative to support the installation of 106 new blender pumps and 17 underground storage tanks that can be used to distribute higher blends of renewable fuels. The funds are being awarded to 16 fuel retailers to assist in installing renewable fuels infrastructure at 35 sites across the state. A full list of sites receiving funding is here.
In total, 213 blender pumps and 24 underground storage tanks will be installed at 73 sites by 20 companies to provide consumers with access to higher blends of ethanol through the program.
Second round of funding is awarded for “Fueling our Future”
“Iowa is the nation’s leader in renewable fuel production,” says Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad. “I’m pleased to see the second round of funding being awarded to support another 106 new blender pumps and 17 underground storage tanks that will be used for renewable fuel in our state. An initial round of funding was announced in January to install 107 new blender pumps and 8 underground tanks. This second round of funding will ensure that even more fueling stations in Iowa will be able to offer customers a higher blend of Iowa renewable fuel.”
“Thanks to the investments made by the state, the federal government and by these companies, motorists will have greater access to higher blends of renewable fuels,” adds Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey. “This will increase consumer choice at the pump and allow them to increase the amount of clean burning, homegrown renewable fuels they use.”
Federal money must be matched by the state and businesses
Funding for the projects is from a $5 million competitive grant from USDA’s Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership program Iowa received to support the initiative. All funds must be matched by non-federal funds, including up to $2.5 million from the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure program. Thus, the fueling sites applying for assistance will also be required to provide a minimum of $2.5 million.
Pumps and tanks funded through this program are required to be operational by Dec. 31, 2016 and to continue operations for the intended purpose of dispensing higher blends of ethanol through Dec. 30, 2021. This new program is a partnership across state government, including collaboration between the Governor’s office, Iowa Department of Agriculture, Iowa Department of Transportation, and Iowa Economic Development Authority.
Iowa retailer interest in offering renewable fuels higher than ever
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association reports interest among Iowa retailers in offering renewable fuels is at an all-time high. The recent Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Board meeting set records by awarding 68 projects with $3.2 million in state grants to upgrade infrastructure to offer higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel.
“Thanks to sound, forward-thinking state policy, many Iowans will soon have greater access to cleaner-burning, homegrown fuels, like E15, E85 and biodiesel,” says Lucy Norton, managing director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. “The state’s biofuels infrastructure program has been very popular and wildly successful in expanding consumer access to higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel, as shown by the most recent round of grants.”
State program awards record 68 projects with grants
At its fiscal year 2016 third quarter meeting on March 10, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program awarded a record-setting 68 projects with a record-high $3,199,831 in funding to upgrade infrastructure to offer higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel. Program funding is set to expire at the end of the state’s fiscal year on June 30, 2016. “With more interest in this program from Iowa retailers than ever before, it’s imperative that this program receive continued funding to capitalize on the momentum for expanding higher blend levels of renewable fuels and provide motorists with more lower-cost, locally-produced choices at the pump,” says Norton.
Iowa is the nation’s leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing 4 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 the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association website IowaRFA.org.