The USDA Commodity Credit Corporation has given a $1.5 million grant to the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) to increase the state’s use of ethanol. The program receiving the funds is the state’s Ethanol Infrastructure Program that helps fuel retailers install blender pumps to sell mid-level and high-level ethanol blends such as E15 and E85. With the additional funds, retailers will be able to receive 90 percent of the first $29,000 in costs for each blender pump. The goal is to have 74 new blender pumps installed statewide with the support of the USDA grant.
“As the ethanol industry continues to grow, we feel it is imperative to utilize more of this environmentally friendly renewable energy source. The grant monies we received from the USDA will help facilitate this initiative,” said GOED Commissioner Pat Costello.
Another change to the program allows for additional funding for the state’s storage tank installation program that assists stations purchase and install additional fuel storage if needed for the installation of new ethanol blender pumps. The storage tank program will now pay costs of a new tank at 90 percent of the first $40,000 in costs.
To help promote and manage the application process, the GOED has contracted with Project Solutions, Inc. (PSI), a company based in Rapid City. “PSI will become our front line in working with station owners on questions about the program. The company will help walk them through the application process, as well,” said Costello who added their number one goal is to increase ethanol usage in South Dakota.
The first round of applications is now being accepted, and the deadline to apply is March 1, 2016 with a fully completed Formal Application will need to be submitted by March 15, 2016 to remain in the first round cycle. Additional application round deadlines are scheduled for April 15 and June 15, if required.