Iowa Biodiesel Board Trumpets Success of State Grants
Since 2006, says the Iowa Biodiesel Board, 158 new biodiesel retail pumps and 48 terminal locations have opened around the state, drivers – and farmers – in the state enjoy greater access to the renewable fuel. State grants through the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program helped the projects come to fruition, IBB says.
“This program is good for Iowa because it empowers more consumers to use their own state’s products rather than importing our energy,” Harold Hommes, program administrator with IDALS, the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, says in the IBB announcement.
“We don’t have refineries or fossil fuels here, so money leaves the state to pay for those energy products,” Hommes said. “But if we produce those in a renewable manner here, we’re helping Iowa farmers and fuel producers, and then those dollars are multiplied throughout Iowa.”
“This additional infrastructure helps biodiesel continue to become fully integrated into Iowa’s fuel supply,” IBB executive director Randy Olson said in a release.
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program assists retail operators of motor fuel dispensing sites or fueling stations in the conversion of their equipment to allow for the expanded use of renewable fuels in Iowa. In just-wrapped fiscal year 2013, 27 biodiesel projects received funding totaling about $1.2 million.
But Olson said that although Iowa produces the most biodiesel of any state, “surveys show 47% of diesel vehicle owners here do not know where to find it.”
Examples of funded projects in Iowa are the Sapp Bros. Travel Center in Council Bluffs, Star Energy (a division of Growmark) in Fort Dodge, and a Kum-and-Go in Ankeny, the hometown of IBB and the Iowa Soybean Association.
Ag Cooperatives Are Eligible Too
Diamond Oil, IBB reports, used a $100,000 grant to open a heated terminal facility in Des Moines, which helps streamline the distribution process by offering pre-blended biodiesel to smaller distributors year-round.
The Iowa grants require matching funds. Petroleum distributors applying for money must commit to providing biodiesel blends for a set number years, usually five. Agricultural cooperatives are eligible for the grants, too – increasing on-farm availability, an IBB priority.
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Source: Iowa Biodiesel Board with Fleets & Fuels follow-up