“Fueling Our Future` Funds Available to Increase Use of Higher Blends of Ethanol and Biodiesel
DES MOINES --
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today encouraged Iowa petroleum retailers interested in participating in the “Fueling our Future” pilot project to consider applying for cost share funding. A total of $250,000 in federal funds are available through the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Board to support projects that will increase the usage of higher blends of both ethanol and biodiesel.
“The renewable fuels industry has been a great asset to Iowa’s economy and making higher blends of renewable fuels will give customers greater access to clean burning, home-grown renewable fuels,” Branstad said. “It is important we help create opportunities for customers to see the benefits of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel.”
The Fueling Our Future pilot project is designed to reduce particulate matter (PM-2.5) vehicle emissions by increasing the use of higher blends of bio-based fuels, specifically ethanol and biodiesel. Applications must be submitted by Feb. 7, 2014 and will be reviewed by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program board of directors at their quarterly meeting later that month.
All Iowa petroleum retailers offering fuel to the general public are eligible to apply. Applicants must provide a minimum 50% match and the total assistance available is capped at $250,000 of matching federal funds. Funds will be targeted equally to the most outstanding proposal focused on bio-diesel (B-5 blends and higher) and ethanol (especially E-30). A single proposal that includes both of these bio-renewable products on the same site could be selected.
“Iowa is fortunate to have many fuel retailers committed to renewable fuels and this pilot program is an exciting opportunity for them to demonstrate their ideas for creating a modern fueling site focused on higher blends of renewable fuels,” Northey said. “Higher blends of both ethanol and biodiesel have the potential to bring significant benefits to consumers, the environment and our rural economy and I’m excited to see the proposals that come forward.”
Applicants may also be eligible for grants through the current Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program which awards up to $50,000 – or 70% of total installation costs toward ethanol and biodiesel installations.
Applicants should be aware that there will be a significant research component for this pilot project. Data collected will be assessed and used to assist with determining optimal market effectiveness of mid-level renewable fuel blends. As a result, fuel sales data from the selected site will be required and in the event of the conversion of a current retail fueling site, data access to previous sales volume will be requested. Access to the site for consumer surveys will be required.
All applicants will need to complete the formal application for the project and will need to attach a short project outline. Applicants may also be asked to present on their proposal at the Board’s February meeting.
A copy of the application and additional information can be found atwww.IowaAgriculture.gov by clicking on the “Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program” link under “Hot Topics.” For more information, interested parties can also contact Harold Hommes with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship atHarold.Hommes@IowaAgriculture.gov or by calling 515-242-6237.