On Monday, Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, and Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey announced a quarter of a million dollars in cost-share money headed to two Iowa fueling sites which will sell higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel.
The money is part of an anti-pollution fund from the U-S Department of Transportation, and is split evenly between a site in Mount Ayr in southern Iowa and one at Inwood, in northwest Iowa. The infrastructure projects at those sites will cost around half a million dollars each.
The announcement comes as part of a pilot program to expand access to higher renewable blends, and Northey says there's more than one way to accomplish that goal.
"So I think we do see different pieces, we already invest in state dollars in providing some cost-share for other ethanol and biodiesel infrastructure projects, we pay part of the cost. We see the U.S. Department of Agriculture doing some things that will pay some cost-share towards these higher blending stations as well. We think this does even more than just build two stations in Iowa."
As part of the pilot program, Northey says Iowa State University researchers will conduct a study to gauge consumer attitudes toward higher blends. Northey hopes the research will lead to more gallons sold, and more efforts at expansion.