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  • Writer's pictureRon Kotrba

USDA awards new biofuel-infrastructure grants through HBIIP, $450 million available starting in July

Updated: Jun 26, 2023



USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced June 26 the first awardees of 59 infrastructure projects that will receive a total of $25 million through USDA’s Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program. Out of the $25 million, approximately $7 million will be used to support consumer access to more than 104 million gallons of biodiesel. Last December, USDA made $50 million available in Inflation Reduction Act funding to expand the use and availability of higher-blend biofuels through HBIIP.


Vilsack also announced June 26 that USDA plans to invest up to $500 million from IRA funding to “increase the availability of domestic biofuels and give Americans additional cleaner fuel options at the pump,” the department stated.


Starting this July, the department will begin accepting applications for $450 million in grants through the popular HBIIP biofuel-infrastructure program.


These grants will continue to support the infrastructure needed to lower out-of-pocket costs for transportation fueling and distribution facilities to install and upgrade biofuel-related infrastructure such as pumps, dispensers and storage tanks.


One example of a biodiesel-related project the new grant funding is supporting is in New York, where Carmel Terminals Inc. will use a $1 million grant to install four 50,000-gallon B10 Bioheat® fuel storage tanks, a 25,000-gallon B10 on-road biodiesel storage tank and a B100 biodiesel storage tank at a fuel-distribution facility in Carmel. The funds also will be used to install piping, circulation lines, a heating system for biodiesel-flow control, electronics and other equipment. This project is expected to increase annual sales of biodiesel by more than 16 million gallons.


To view the full list of awards announced June 26, click here.


Additional awards will be announced in the coming weeks.


“By expanding the availability of homegrown biofuels, we are strengthening our energy independence, creating new market opportunities and revenue streams for American producers, and bringing good-paying jobs and other economic benefits to rural and farm communities,” Vilsack said.


Clean Fuels Alliance America thanked USDA for the new round of grant funding, particularly for biodiesel-related projects from coast to coast, and the department’s commitment to make additional funding available on a quarterly basis.


“Clean Fuels congratulates member companies and industry partners that received matching funds for projects, including Crimson Renewable Energy, New Leaf Biofuel, and World Energy,” the organization stated.


Kurt Kovarik, vice president of federal affairs with Clean Fuels, said the HBIIP program enjoys bipartisan congressional support and it is successfully opening new markets to biodiesel.


“These projects will increase the supply of better, cleaner fuels in states and regions where consumer demand is increasing quickly,” Kovarik said.


HBIIP grants, which seek to increase availability of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel derived from U.S. agricultural products by sharing the costs to build and retrofit biofuel-related infrastructure, cover up to 75 percent or $5 million of total project costs to help facilities convert to higher-blend fuels.


The fuels must be greater than 10 percent for ethanol and greater than 5 percent for biodiesel.


The $450 million in new funds will be available quarterly starting July 1.


Each quarter, $90 million will be available to support a variety of fueling operations:


  • Approximately $67.5 million will be made available to transportation-fueling facilities, including fueling stations; convenience stores; larger retail stores that also sell fuel; and transportation, freight, rail and marine fleet facilities


  • Approximately $18 million will be available to fuel-distribution facilities, including terminal operations, depots and midstream operations


  • Up to $4.5 million will be made available to heating-oil distribution facilities


There will be five application windows for HBIIP between July 1, 2023, and Sept. 30, 2024.


A sixth application window will be opened if funding has not been exhausted.


For more information, visit the HBIIP webpage, the Federal Register or grants.gov.


USDA has an HBIIP webinar scheduled July 6 at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time.


To register for the HBIIP webinar, click here.

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