The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Oct. 8 awarded $22 million of the $100 million in grants available to increase ethanol and biodiesel sales, including to several NATSO members. This demonstrates that fuel retailers are responsive to policy signals and government incentives to invest in alternative fuels.
Among the NATSO members who received grants were BP Kenosha Travel Plaza, Casey’s General Store, Deluxe Truck Stop, Kum and Go, Thorntons, and Trail’s Travel Plaza.
The funds were made available through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program to recipients in 14 states. USDA is funding projects in California, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Utah and Wisconsin.
NATSO member grant projects include the following:
- BP Kenosha Travel Plaza will use a $378,000 grant to replace and install 20 dispensers and a storage tank at two fueling stations.
- Casey’s General Store was awarded $4.98 million to create infrastructure to expand the sale and use of renewable fuels. This project will replace 346 dispensers at 70 fueling stations in Illinois, Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.
- Deluxe Truck Stop was awarded $126,544 to create infrastructure to expand the sale and use of renewable fuels. This project will replace four dispensers and one storage tank at one fueling station in Missouri.
- Kum & Go was awarded $1.59 million to create infrastructure to expand the sale and use of renewable fuels. This project will install 128 dispensers at 17 fueling stations in Colorado Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma and Nebraska.
- Thorntons received $4.3 million to expand the sale and use of renewable fuels. This project will replace 290 dispensers at 34 fueling stations in Kentucky, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and Tennessee. Thorntons is the owner of 10 or more fueling stations.
- Trail’s Travel Plaza received $253,000 to create infrastructure to expand the sale and use of renewable fuels. This project will replace 36 dispensers and one storage tank at a fueling station in Minnesota.
USDA plans on announcing the remaining HBIIP investments in the coming weeks.
The Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program grants are being awarded for up to 50 percent of total eligible project costs, but not more than $5 million. Grant money can be used for (among other things) infrastructure projects at both retail outlets and terminal facilities. Grants can be used to install, retrofit, or upgrade underground storage tank equipment and related equipment (piping, etc.) as well as fuel dispensers.
The program aims to encourage a comprehensive approach to marketing higher blends by sharing the costs relating to building out biofuel-related infrastructure.
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