Tennessee DOT Giving Grants to Promote Biofuels

John Davis

biotenn.jpgTennessee’s Department of Transportation plans to hand out $1 million in grants to help promote biodiesel and ethanol at gas pumps along the interstates in Tennessee.

This story in the Chattanooga (TN) Times Free Press says one of the first Green Island Corridor grants is going to a station in Cleveland in the southeast part of the state:

Tom Robertson, owner of Fuel & Mart USA No. 4 on Lee Highway, said the store will convert a gasoline tank into one suitable for biodiesel within weeks.

“I would say we’ll begin selling it within a couple of months,” Mr. Robertson said.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation awarded $12,024 to Fuel & Mart USA No. 4 in November, state officials said.

TDOT officials said the state set aside about $1 million to help establish a network of biodiesel and ethanol stations along Tennessee interstates.

TDOT spokeswoman Julie Oaks said the idea is to have stations no more than 100 miles apart, giving travelers a chance to refuel using alternatives.

She said the state has already approved grants for 64 to 66 pumps and could fund up to 22 more. No more state or federal dollars have been set aside, she said.

“We are hoping to receive additional state dollars,” she said.

Officials believe the grants will make it easier for the small businessmen who run the gas stations to make the infrastructure changes needed. Some estimates say the cost of converting a tank can be $16,000 to $18,000.

Biodiesel, Ethanol, Government, News