“ACE is uniquely suited to assist single-store operators — who own 62 percent of U.S. convenience stores according to recent NACS data. From its inception, ACE's market development program has focused on helping station owners, primarily single store and small chain retailers, understand ethanol as an easy product addition that can provide a competitive advantage and a healthier bottom line. Owners who act now can use the USDA HBIIP to reduce their cost of getting ahead or keeping up with the competition, and ACE stands ready to help fuel marketers complete the application process and make the switch." Ron Lamberty, ACE Senior Vice President and Market Development Director (Over 40 years of petroleum wholesale distributing, c-store marketing and operations experience, and involvement educating fuel retailers about ethanol)

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has launched a Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP), which makes available up to $100 million in competitive grants for activities designed to expand the sale and use of renewable fuels, $86 million of which is reserved for higher blends of ethanol. The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) is focusing its market development efforts, including the fuel-marketer-focused website flexfuelforward.com, on ensuring fuel marketers know about the funding and receive any assistance they need to participate.


Find some basics of the program below and visit flexfuelforward.com or visit the program website for more information.

Subscribe to updates on the program from USDA Rural Development by CLICKING HERE

The Online Application System went live Friday, May 15, 2020 with a 90-day HBIIP application window. APPLICATION DEADLINE: August 13, 2020, 11:59pm EDT. We recommend retailers begin registration tasks as soon as possible. Please contact us to learn more about how we can help you with the application process! Below are a few initial steps:

1. Obtain DUNS/UEI Number - Request a number at 1–866–705–5711 or online at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform

2. Register DUNS/UEI number with System of Awards Management at www.sam.gov

3. Create a USDA E-Authentication Customer Account, https://www.eauth.usda.gov. Level 2 access is recommended

CLICK HERE for a full online application checklist and CLICK HERE  for an online application instruction guide.

Program Webinars

The USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service conducted webinars to provide an overview of the HBIIP andt the application process including preparing an application, submitting applications using the online application system and accessing applicant resources.

May 12 - Topic: HBIIP Orientation and Enrollment Emphasis
Recording Here 

May 19 -Topic: HBIIP Fueling Station and Fleet Facility Emphasis
Recording Here

May 26 - Topic: HBIIP Fuel Distribution Facility Emphasis
Recording Here

June 2 - Topic: Round Up of HBIIP
Recording Here

Flex Fuel Forward HBIIP Ad

For more on HBIIP from ACE, watch the videos below.


What does this program do?

The purpose of the HBIIP is to increase significantly the sales and use of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel by expanding the infrastructure for renewable fuels derived from U.S. agricultural products.

The program is also intended to encourage a more comprehensive approach to market higher blends by sharing the costs related to building out biofuel-related infrastructure.

Who may apply?

Transportation fueling facilities including:

  • Fueling stations, convenience stores, hypermarket fueling stations, fleet facilities, and similar entities with capital investments;

Fuel distribution facilities, such as:

  • Terminal operations, depots, and midstream partners, and similarly equivalent operations.

What funding is available?

Under HBIIP up to $100 million is made available to eligible participants.

Approximately $86 million will be made available to transportation fueling facilities including:

  • Fueling stations, convenience stores, hypermarket fueling stations, fleet facilities, and similar entities with capital investments) for eligible implementation activities related to higher blends of fuel ethanol greater than 10 percent ethanol, such as E15 or higher; Approximately $14 million will be made available to transportation fueling facilities and fuel distribution facilities including:
  • Terminal operations, depots, and midstream partners, for eligible implementation activities related to higher blends of biodiesel greater than 5 percent biodiesel, such as B20 or higher.

What are the terms?

Awards to successful applicants will be in the form of cost-share grants for up to 50 percent of total eligible project costs, but not to exceed $5 million, whichever is less.

How do we get started?

Click the “To Apply” tab for application instructions and other resources at www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/higher-blends-infrastructure-incentive-program.

Who can answer questions?

Ron Lamberty
(605) 334-3381 ext. 7622

Anthony Crooks
(202) 205-9322

Why does USDA Rural Development do this?

This program helps increase American energy independence. It increases the private sector supply of renewable energy.

This program will share the costs related to the upgrading of fuel dispensers (gas and diesel pumps), related equipment, and other infrastructure required at a location to ensure the environmentally safe availability of fuel containing ethanol blends greater than 10 percent or fuel containing biodiesel blends greater than 5 percent.

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