American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Unsung Hero award winner Rick Schwarck of Absolute Energy in St. Ansgar, Iowa is a pioneer in the direct biorefinery to retail station sales of ethanol.
Schwarck says selling ethanol direct to retail stations is a way of passing along the best prices possible to the retail station and ultimately the consumer. “Each gallon of ethanol carries with it a RIN, a Renewable Identification Number,” explains Schwarck. “Those RINS have value but the terminals were not passing that value through to the retailer who then could not pass its value on to the consumer…So we’re basically passing through that savings to the retailer selling E85 who then can pass those savings on to the consumer.”
Absolute Energy actually has a retail station that offers E85 as well as mid-level blends in St. Ansgar and Schwarck says the majority of customers driving flex-fuel vehicles choose blends higher than ten percent. “It’s really just getting it priced where the consumer has access to it,” he said.
Schwarck talks more about the need for more consumer access to higher level retail blends of ethanol in this interview: Interview with Rick Schwarck, Absolute Energy