The US Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson announced on August 19, 2021, that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing US$26 million to build infrastructure to expand the availability of higher-blend renewable biofuels by 822 million (US) gallons (≈ 3.1 billion litres) annually in 23 states. The USDA is making the awards under the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP).
According to a statement, the funding will help significantly increase the use of biofuels derived from US agricultural products and prioritize climate-smart solutions that will help rural America build back better.
Through this program, USDA helps transportation fueling and biodiesel distribution facilities offer higher ethanol and biodiesel blends to customers by sharing the costs to install fuel pumps, equipment, and infrastructure.
Investments like these increase opportunities for American consumers to make climate-smart decisions and move the country closer to President Biden’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. By expanding the availability of higher-blend biofuels, we’re giving consumers more environmentally-friendly fuel choices when they fill up at the pump and stimulating an important market for US farmers and ranchers, Deputy Under Secretary Maxson said.
The announcement includes investments in California (CA), Connecticut (CT), Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), Illinois (IL), Indiana (IN), Iowa (IA), Kansas (KS), Kentucky (KY), Maine (ME), Massachusetts (MA), Michigan (MI), Mississippi (MS), Missouri (MO), Nebraska (NB), New Mexico (NM), New York (NY), North Carolina (NC), Ohio (OH), Oklahoma (OK), Rhode Island (RI), Texas (TX), and Wisconsin (WI).
Examples of projects include:
- In California (CA), AltAir Paramount LLC will use a US$1.5 million grant to install a pump, safety infrastructure, and piping at its fuel distribution facility. Funds will also be used to retrofit and upgrade a biodiesel storage tank. This project is expected to increase biodiesel sales by 135 million gallons (≈ 510.9 million litres) per year.
- In Ohio (OH), United Dairy Farmers Inc. will use a US$634 000 grant to replace 21 dispensers and four storage tanks at four fueling stations. The company also will install 13 dispensers at two more fueling stations in Ohio (OH) and Kentucky (KY). This project is expected to increase ethanol sales by 4 million gallons (≈ 15.1 million litres) per year.
- In North Carolina (NC), Zenith Energy Terminals Holdings LLC will use a US$614 930 grant to install a truck rack biodiesel blending system at a fuel distribution facility. This project is expected to increase biodiesel sales by 24 million gallons (≈ 90.8 million litres) per year.
The announcement also marks the one-year anniversary of the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). To date, USDA has invested US$66.4 million for projects that are expected to increase biofuels sales by 1.2 billion gallons (≈ 4.5 billion litres) annually.