Thursday, March 15, 2012
PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced today that applications have been received for this year’s entire first round of grants to help pay for installation of ethanol blender pumps and associated infrastructure.
So far, $755,000 of the available $950,000 in grant money has been awarded to South Dakota gasoline retailers. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) began accepting grant applications Jan. 9, and a majority of the funds were awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
The final 20 percent of grants will be awarded on a competitive basis. Applications for those grants will be received until April 30.
“To have requests for the total amount of money that is available for the program in this state shows the popularity of a home-grown fuel like ethanol,” Gov. Daugaard said. “Making more ethanol blends available to consumers will create more jobs, improve producer opportunities and help stabilize domestic fuel supplies.”
Funding for the grant program is made possible by a partnership between South Dakota Ethanol Producers and the State of South Dakota.
South Dakota was the first state to allow ethanol blender pumps. More than 100 pumps currently help support South Dakota’s 15 ethanol plants, and nearly 900 South Dakotans are directly employed by the industry.
Hunter Roberts, energy policy director in GOED, said consumers should soon notice an increase in ethanol blender pumps or flex pumps.
“We are off to a great start. Funds have been allocated to 21 retail stations to install 44 ethanol blender pumps across the state, and four of those projects have been completed,” Roberts said. “In addition, we will make another $950,000 available during a second round of funding that will begin July 2.”
Grant awards up to $25,000 are available for installation of a station’s first blender pump. Grants up to $10,000 are available for installation of each additional pump.
Rick Serie, market development director for the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), said the grant program sets a great example for other states.
“With the heavy interest in South Dakota, I’m hopeful other states can see this response and view South Dakota as an effective model on how to improve ethanol infrastructure for both consumers and retailers,” Serie said.
GOED, representatives from ACE, and members of the South Dakota Ethanol Producers Association conducted seven informational meetings earlier this year to explain the program to South Dakota retailers and equipment companies.
For more information about the blender pump grant program, go to www.readytowork.com/blenderpumps.aspx