USDA opens applications for Biofuel Infrastructure Grants
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that the Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for $100 million in grants to increase the sale and use of biofuels derived from U.S. agricultural products. The USDA is making the funding available through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program, which 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. Under the program, the USDA provides grants to transportation fueling and distribution facilities that lower the out-of-pocket costs for businesses to install and upgrade infrastructure and related equipment. According to a news release, grants from the $100 million available now will cover up to 50% of the 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. The new funding follows an April investment of $5.6 million through the incentive program that is expected to increase the availability of biofuels by 59.5 million gallons per year in Illinois, South Dakota and five coastal states. The deadline to apply for a grant is Nov. 21. More information and applications are available on the HBIIP website.