The USDA opened a new, 30-day application period that began on December 21, 2020 to provide retailers one more opportunity to apply for grant money still available under its Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). These funds provide a second chance for retailers who got started during the original 90-day timeframe but couldn’t complete their grant applications before that window closed. Approximately $22 million is being made available for fueling stations, convenience stores, hypermarket fueling stations, and fleet facilities to add higher ethanol blends.
Through this program, transportation fueling and biodiesel distribution facilities will be able to apply for grants to help install, retrofit, and/or upgrade fuel storage, dispenser pumps, related equipment and infrastructure to be able to sell ethanol and biodiesel. Cost-share grants and/or incentives will be made available for fuel ethanol/biodiesel blends such as E15 or higher. In October, USDA announced several recipients of the up to $100 million in matching grants to increase ethanol and biodiesel sales.
The purpose of the HBIIP is to significantly increase the sales and use of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel by expanding the infrastructure for renewable fuels derived from U.S. agricultural products. The program is also intended to encourage a more comprehensive approach to market higher blends by sharing the costs related to building out biofuel-related infrastructure.
Awards to successful applicants will be in the form of cost-share grants for up to 50 percent of total eligible project costs, but not to exceed $3 million, whichever is less. To learn about eligibility requirements, visit the HBIIP website here. The deadline is January 19, 2021.