USDA Begins Accepting Applications for Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program Grants Today

Name
Emily Cannon
Phone
City
Washington, DC
Release Date
May 15, 2020


Eligible Maine Entities May Apply for Grant Funds

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Stephen Censky today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture launched an online portal to begin accepting applications for Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) grants. USDA plans to make available up to $100 million in competitive grants for activities designed to expand the sale and availability of ethanol and biodiesel fuels.

“As the coronavirus response continues, America’s energy independence has proven critical to our economic security now more than ever,” Deputy Secretary Censky said. “Under the leadership of President Trump, we know the positive impacts that affordable, abundant and clean-burning fuel provide to our country’s farmers and consumers. The Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program will help rural communities build stronger economies and will give consumers more choices when they fill up at the pump.”

USDA Rural Development State Director Timothy P. Hobbs said, “The Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program provides an opportunity for Maine businesses, such as fueling stations and convenience stores, to provide their customers with the option of clean ethanol and biodiesel fuels. Rural Development funding can help finance the upgraded infrastructure to make this possible.”

USDA plans to make funds directly available to help transportation fueling and biodiesel distribution facilities convert to higher ethanol and biodiesel blends by sharing the costs related to the installation of fuel pumps, related equipment and infrastructure.

Electronic applications must be submitted by Aug. 13, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Paper applications will not be accepted. For additional information on the application window, see page 29394 of the May 15 Federal Register.

Additional Information:

USDA is making grants available for up to 50 percent of total eligible project costs, but not more than $5 million. Eligible recipients are vehicle fueling facilities, including, but not limited to, local fueling stations/locations, convenience stores, hypermarket fueling stations, fleet facilities, fuel terminal operations, midstream partners and/or distribution facilities.

USDA is making available approximately $86 million for implementation activities related to higher blends of fuel ethanol, and approximately $14 million for implementation activities related to higher blends of biodiesel. Higher biofuel blends are fuels containing ethanol greater than 10 percent by volume and/or fuels containing biodiesel blends greater than five percent by volume.

For other program details, see page 26656 of the May 5 Federal Register, or visit the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program web page.

For more information on this program, contact Brian Wilson, Program Director, at (207) 990-9125 or brian.wilson@usda.gov.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/me.

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