The Iowa Legislature this week approved another year of funding for the state’s blender pump program, which is designed to assist fuel retailers in the conversion of their equipment to allow the expanded use of renewable fuels in Iowa.
“The Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program (RFIP) has played an imperative role in expanding consumer access to higher ethanol and biodiesel blends,” stated Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Policy Director Grant Menke. “Demand for renewable fuels has more momentum now than ever. In a tough budget year we are very grateful to Governor Branstad and the Transportation, Infrastructure, and Capitals Appropriations Subcommittee for making this successful program a priority.”
The bill passed by the Iowa Legislature Wednesday includes $3 million in RFIP funding for fiscal year 2018 as part of the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund which Governor Terry Branstad is expected to sign.
Menke say interest among Iowa retailers in selling more renewable fuels is at an all-time high. Since the beginning of fiscal year 2017 RFIP has awarded 92 projects with $4.4 million in state grants to upgrade infrastructure to offer higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel. This funding leveraged two to three times that amount in private investment.
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program (RFIP) offers cost-share grants to Iowa retailers wishing to upgrade fueling infrastructure to offer E15, E85 and/or biodiesel blends. Reimbursement can be up to 70 percent of the installation costs, up to a maximum of $50,000 per project, with a five-year commitment to sell E15, E85 or biodiesel blends.