USDA announces at least $22 million investment to increase American biofuel demand

Grace Connatser
Wisconsin State Farmer
The US Department of Agriculture is investing millions into America's biofuel industry to increase demand amid COVID-19.

US Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the agency is investing at least $22 million in grant funding to increase demand for American ethanol and biodiesel.

The investment was made through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program, which disbursed funds to 14 states, including Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota. USDA said more funding may be available from a total $100 million pool, with the $22 million projected to increase demand by more than 150 million gallons of ethanol. 

USDA said more grants will be announced soon. HBIIP helps fuel and biodiesel distribution centers to convert to higher ethanol and biodiesel blends through equipment and infrastructure improvements cost sharing. Gas stations, fleet facilities, fuel terminal operations and other industry partners are all eligible to apply for grants from HBIIP.

Wisconsin's BP Kenosha Travel Plaza LLC will be using their $378,000 grant to replace and install 20 new dispensers and a storage tank at two gas stations. This project alone is estimated to increased sales by 1.6 million gallons of ethanol. United Farmers Cooperative in Iowa was given $93,000 to replace six dispensers and two storage tanks, which is said to increase sales by 300,000 gallons.