The Nebraska Corn Board recently allocated funds in its 2017-18 fiscal year budget to further develop the renewable fuel infrastructure in Nebraska.
Through a grant program, the Nebraska Corn Board will award qualifying retailers up to $50,000 for installation of flex fuel pumps, other necessary equipment and hardware to offer higher blends of ethanol fuel. Blender pumps make it easier for retailers to offer additional ethanol blended fuels. This expands their fuel offerings and provides a point of distinction in the marketplace while serving the growing number of motorists driving flex fuel vehicles.
Such pumps also provide opportunities for stations to more easily offer E15, which is approved for use in all vehicles model year 2001 and newer. This includes cars, light-duty trucks and SUVs.
Grants are available on a first come, first served basis. Once funding is exhausted, retailers will be placed on a waiting list and awarded grant money in the order applications were received, if additional funding becomes available.
“In the last several years we have partnered with many fuel retailers and currently have close to 100 stations across the state of Nebraska offering mid and higher level ethanol blends,” said Tim Scheer, Nebraska Corn Board director and farmer from St. Paul, Neb. “This has provided good coverage across the state and with this grant program we can continue to expand that coverage for every Nebraskan to have a choice at the fuel pump.”
“There are currently around 235,000 flex fuel vehicles in Nebraska and that number is increasing every day,” said Roger Berry, director of market development with the Nebraska Corn Board. “Nebraska is the second largest producer of ethanol in the country and many of those ethanol plants partner with retailers to make E15 and flex fuels an even better value for consumers.”
Station owners who install blender pumps benefit from the blending economics and a higher volume of ethanol sales, while their customers enjoy a new array of fuel choices at the pump.
“Flex fuel vehicle owners of today and tomorrow will appreciate the ability to pull up to a pump and find higher blends of ethanol fuel such as E30 or E85,” Scheer said. “Additionally, drivers of vehicles 2001 and newer can save at the pump and help clean the air with E15.”
“We are encouraging every fuel retailer to take a look at this new grant program,” said Berry. For more information about the grant program or to request an application, email Berry at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 402-471-2676.