Convenience store chains Casey’s, Thorntons, Royal Farms and United Dairy Farmers (UDF) were among recipients of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grants under the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP).
Growth Energy welcomes the USDA announcement of grants under HBIIP. Growth Energy’s network of both large and small retail partners secured nearly $30 million in grants for over 290 sites selling more than 400 million gallons of gasoline annually.
“This announcement offers a welcome ray of hope during an otherwise rough year for America’s farmers, retailers and biofuel producers,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “It represents a major milestone in our efforts to ensure more Americans can access cleaner and more affordable ethanol-blended fuel. We’re grateful to Secretary Perdue, USDA, and our congressional champions who are working tirelessly to make higher ethanol blends a success.”
“We’re especially proud of Growth Energy’s incredible network of retail partners, who bring Unleaded88 (E15) to consumers across the nation and are paving the way for higher blends of ethanol,” she added.
Retailers cheered the announcement, including HBIIP recipients that will receive funding for infrastructure projects to facilitate increased sales of higher biofuel blends (E15/B20 or higher).
“Casey’s is rooted in local towns across the Midwest, making farmers and their families part of our community,” said Darren Rebelez, president and CEO of Casey’s. “This grant will allow us to expand availability of higher ethanol blends to our guests. We appreciate the continued support of Growth Energy and their efforts.”
“Royal Farms appreciates the USDA HBIIP grant that will help us grow our Regular 88 (E15) and FlexFuel business,” said Thomas Ruszin, fuel and environmental leader for Royal Farms. “Growth Energy’s support in obtaining our grant was instrumental, and we look forward to our continued relationship with the organization.”
“Thorntons thanks Growth Energy for their partnership in applying for the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program to increase our higher blend fuel offerings for our guests,” said Lee Stevens, manager, fuel supply for Thorntons LLC. “We look forward to continuing our work with Growth Energy to provide the best offerings possible.”
“Our sincere appreciation to Growth Energy for their time, industry expertise, and technical support with the application process, which resulted in Southeast Petro Distributors Inc. securing $3.5 million in grant funding,” said Shawn Tingle, director of logistics for Southeast Petro Distributors Inc. “Southeast Petro Distributors Inc. is continually looking towards the future, and making higher blends available to our customers as alternative fuels allows us to offer a product that is a better for the environment, the air we breathe, and supports our local economies.”
“We are extremely grateful to have received funding for the HBIIP program through USDA,” said Jason and Susan Liter, owners of Liter’s VP LLC. “Our successful application would not have been possible without the help of Growth Energy. They were diligent in working with us and able to answer many questions and help with all aspects of the process, from beginning to end! Growth Energy is without a doubt a tremendous asset to the biofuel industry.”
“United Dairy Farmers recognizes there was a segment of the fuels market that we were not serving with our existing store fuel offering, those customers interested in Unleaded88/E15 and E85 with the benefits that higher blends offer,” said Drew Brower, vice president of fuel operations for UDF. “As an early adopter, we could benefit by bringing these products to market first. The funding through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program through the USDA allows us to expand our overall footprint and bring higher blends to our customer base. Growth Energy has been a resourceful partner during this process.”
The USDA’s HBIIP will expand domestic ethanol and biodiesel availability by supporting infrastructure projects to facilitate increased sales of higher biofuel blends (E15/B20 or higher). This effort will build on biofuels infrastructure investments and experience gained through the Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership (BIP).
Growth Energy’s pioneering work with Prime the Pump helped make BIP a resounding success, supporting the installation of E15 at retailers large and small in size and diverse in geographic location, including Casey’s, Sheetz, Kwik Trip, Minnoco, Cumberland Farms, Family Express, Kum & Go, Murphy USA, NuVu Fuels, Protec Fuel, Pump & Pantry, Racetrac, Rutters, QuikTrip and UDF There are now more than 2,240 retail locations offering E15 and in 2020 — despite COVID and the worst fuel drop in three decades — retail sites offering E15 have increased 10%.