U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Florida State Director Lakeisha Hood Moїse announced today that USDA is awarding $4,943,820 to Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores to increase the availability of domestic biofuels in Florida and give Americans cleaner, more affordable fuel options at gas station pumps.
“Rural America is the backbone of our economy and key to enabling our energy independence and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels,” Hood Moїse said.
Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores will use the award to install E15 fuel dispensers—which contain a gasoline-ethanol blend—at fueling stations in Ocala, Lee, and Ormond Beach. Blending ethanol into gasoline has helped reduce fuel costs by approximately 25 percent, contributing to falling gas prices across the country.
The Department is making the award through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP), made possible with funding from the Inflation Reduction Act. HBIIP increases the number of Americans that benefit from falling prices by expanding the use of ethanol-based fuels at gas stations around the nation. USDA has invested more than $96 million nationwide to increase access to biofuels at fueling stations.
Background: Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program
The Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) provides grants to fueling station and distribution facility owners, including marine, rail, and home heating oil facilities, to help expand access to domestic biofuels, a clean and affordable source of energy. These investments help business owners install and upgrade infrastructure such as fuel pumps, dispensers and storage tanks. Expanding the availability of homegrown biofuels strengthens energy independence, creates new revenue for American businesses and brings good-paying jobs to rural communities.
In June 2023, USDA made $450 million available in Inflation Reduction Act funding through the HBIIP to expand the use and availability of higher-blend biofuels. That same month, USDA also announced the first round of Inflation Reduction Act-funded HBIIP awardees.
USDA continues to accept applications for funding to expand access to domestic biofuels. These grants will support the infrastructure needed to reduce out-of-pocket costs for transportation fueling and distribution facilities to install and upgrade biofuel-related infrastructure such as pumps, dispensers and storage tanks. There are three quarterly application windows left, and the program ends Sept. 30, 2024. The next application deadline is March 31, 2024.
For more information, go to the HBIIP webpage.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.