USDA names recipients of $22 million in HBIIP awards

By Erin Voegele | October 08, 2020

The USDA on Oct. 8 announced an initial round of awards under its $100 million Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program. The agency said it is awarding $22 million to 40 recipients in 14 states. The remaining awards are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Investments made under HBIIP aim 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. Under the program, higher blends include ethanol blends of greater than 10 percent and biodiesel blends of greater than 5 percent. The application period for the program closed Aug. 13.

According to the USDA, the initial $22 million in HBIIP investments are projected to increase ethanol demand by nearly 150 million gallons annually. The initial round of awards includes projects located in California, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Utah and Wisconsin.

A full list of initial awardees is available on the USDA website.

 The National Biodiesel Board, Iowa Biodiesel Board and Iowa Soybean Association welcomed news of the awards.

"On behalf of NBB's members across the country, I want to thank Secretary Sonny Perdue for following through on this commitment to biodiesel producers and farmers,” said Donnell Rehagen, CEO of the NBB. “The biodiesel industry is pursuing a vision for sustainable growth to more than 6 billion gallons by the end of this decade. The cost-sharing grants USDA is beginning to announce will help us bring consumers the better, cleaner transportation and heating fuels they are looking for."

"Infrastructure is the key to ensuring we can deliver low carbon fuels to the nation, and these grants will help take us to the next level with that in Iowa and beyond,” said Grant Kimberley, executive director of the IBB. “As the top biodiesel-producing state, Iowa sits at the heart of this energy transformation and our producers and farmers stand ready to grow. We thank USDA for leading this infrastructure effort."

"Today's announcement is encouraging for soybean farmers,” said Jeff Jorgenson, president of the ISA. “Efforts to make homegrown, soy-based biodiesel more readily available is a win for farmers and consumers. Biodiesel provides an important domestic market for our soybeans and consumers an environmentally friendly fuel choice. As farmers harvest another soybean crop, we're mindful of the critical demand and price impact of biodiesel, accounting for nearly $1.15 of the current market price for soybeans."


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