South Dakota announces availability of funding for blender pumps

By Erin Voegele | February 19, 2016

The South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development is soliciting applications for grants to support the installation of ethanol blender pumps. According to the GOED, it aims to support the installation of 74 new blender pumps through the grant program.

For the first round of applications, an intent to apply form is due March 1, with the full application deadline set for March 15. Additional application round deadlines are currently scheduled for April 15 and June 15, if required.

Funding for the program comes from a $1.5 million grant recently awarded by the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corp. though the Ethanol Infrastructure Program.

“As the ethanol industry continues to grow, we feel it is imperative to utilize more of this environmentally friendly renewable energy source. The grant monies we received from the USDA will help facilitate this initiative,” said GOED Commissioner Pat Costello.

According to information released by the GOED, successful applicants will have the opportunity to receive up to 90 percent of the first $29,000 in costs for each blender pump. In addition, the state’s storage tank installation program can help stations purchase and install additional fuel storage if needed for the installation of new ethanol blender pumps. The storage tank program will pay costs of a new tank at 90 percent of the first $40,000 in cost.

The GOED indicated it has contract with Project Solutions Inc. to help promote and manage the application process. “PSI will become our front line in working with station owners on questions about the program. The company will help walk them through the application process, as well,” Costello said. “Our number one goal is to increase ethanol usage in South Dakota.”

The GOED is also running an ethanol advertising campaign geared toward vehicle owners. “Our message is simple: If you have a vehicle that is 2001 or newer, it’s safe to use ethanol blended fuel of 15 percent or less, commonly called E15,” Costello said. “We think there is a misconception about the safety of ethanol for vehicles and we are trying to dispel that.”

Additional information is available on The GOED website