Convenience store retailers offering alternative fuels are getting a boost.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved grants under the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP), which expands domestic ethanol and biodiesel availability by supporting infrastructure projects to facilitate increased sales of higher biofuel blends including E15/B20 or higher.
The effort builds on biofuels infrastructure investments and experience gained through the Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership (BIP). Both large and small c-store retailers secured nearly $30 million in grants for more than 290 sites selling more than 400 million gallons of gas annually.
"This announcement offers a welcome ray of hope during an otherwise rough year for America’s farmers, retailers, and biofuel producers," said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. "It represents a major milestone in our efforts to ensure more Americans can access cleaner and more affordable ethanol-blended fuel. We’re grateful to Secretary Perdue, USDA, and our congressional champions who are working tirelessly to make higher ethanol blends a success.
"We're especially proud of Growth Energy's incredible network of retail partners, who bring Unleaded88 (E15) to consumers across the nation and are paving the way for higher blends of ethanol," she added.
C-store retailers that will benefit from HBIIP include: Kum & Go LC, Sheetz Inc., Kwik Trip, Minnoco, Cumberland Farms, Family Express, Murphy USA, NuVu Fuels, Protec Fuel, Pump & Pantry, Racetrac, Rutters, QuikTrip, and United Dairy Farmers.
Casey's General Stores Inc. will also receive a grant, totaling nearly $5 million, that will go toward replacing 346 dispensers at 70 fueling stations in Illinois, Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Casey's General Stores Inc.
"Casey's is rooted in local towns across the Midwest, making farmers and their families part of our community," said Darren Rebelez, president and CEO of Casey's. "This grant will allow us to expand availability of higher ethanol blends to our guests. We appreciate the continued support of Growth Energy and their efforts."
There are now more than 2,240 retail locations offering E15 and in 2020. Despite COVID-19 and the worst fuel drop in three decades, retail sites offering E15 have increased 10 percent, according to Growth Energy.
Washington, D.C.-based Growth Energy represents producers and supporters of ethanol working to bring consumers better choices at the fuel pump, grow America's economy and improve the environment for future generations.