USDA Higher Blend Infrastructure Incentive Program Grants for Biodiesel Terminals and E85 Stations
In 2020, the USDA opened a new grant funding program for biofuels, which included E85 and for the first time, biodiesel. The intent of the program was to support the farm economy by creating more infrastructure for E85 (ethanol) and biodiesel (vegetable based oil which can be mixed into diesel fuel). USDA grants are notoriously difficult to prepare, exacting in detail and requiring extensive research and backup. Trusted clients Westmore Fuel and East End Marketing immediately turned to Clean Fuels Consulting to keep tabs on the program before it came out, to track its rollout, participate in all the informational webinars and to prepare grant applications for funding for expansion of existing biofuel infrastructure.
Westmore Fuel is a large fuel marketer in Westchester County, New York, and Fairfield County, Connecticut with a waterborne fuel terminal which currently has a 20,000 gallon biodiesel tank. That tank was maxed out during heating season, requiring refilling daily during peak demand for heating oil. Expanding capacity at the terminal was a priority.
East End Marketing has been a leader in New York State with E85, and offers it at over half of its stations; it wanted to expand availability to another twenty percent of its remaining stations.
Townsend Oil Company was a new client in the CFC fold, a large fuel marketer in New England that already carried higher blends of biodiesel but wanted to expand supply.
Clean Fuels Consulting tracked the program and participated in six informational webinars to really understand the program’s dynamics. It worked together with the support of the Renewable Fuel Association to make sure that E85 was properly represented in New York State. It assisted both clients with the arcane process of registering with the various federal databases, creating required login and accounts, and doing it all on a fast track to comply with the program submission requirements.
Working closely with the project construction designers, accurate cost estimates were procured, work schedules generated and lengthy technical and environmental reports written.
CFC created a legislative summary for Congressional district offices so staff was aware of the projects.
The outcome was that all of the clients’ grants were funded, which should result in two expanded biodiesel terminals which will serve the states of New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Southern Maine. There will be three new E85 stations slated for New York’s Long Island region. CFC continues work on schedule creation for construction, invoice tracking and grant compliance as the projects move forward. Grant compliance and project reporting is another value added service that CFC will perform, which can be an onerous internal task for the grantees.
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