USDA helps install 266 blender pumps through REAP

By Kris Bevill | December 15, 2011

The USDA announced the final round of fiscal year 2011 Renewable Energy for America Program awards on Dec. 14. The awards included grants for 12 blender pump projects in eight states, bringing the total number of REAP-funded projects to 65 so far. As a result, 266 new blender pumps will be installed in 30 states, according to the USDA.

This was the first year blender pump projects qualified for assistance through REAP. The program was created in the 2008 Farm Bill to provide assistance to agricultural producers and businesses in rural areas to make energy efficiency improvements, install renewable energy systems and conduct energy audits and feasibility studies. The agency determined in late last year that blender pumps, otherwise known as flexible fuel pumps, qualify for assistance under REAP and has since been focused on providing funding for those projects as part of a larger USDA initiative to establish 10,000 blender pumps throughout the U.S. within five years. In a statement released following the last round of REAP awards, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack reiterated his agency’s commitment to renewable fuels and energy efficiency. “Stable energy costs create an environment for job growth in rural America,” he said. “Collectively, these REAP-funded projects announced today, and those announced earlier by USDA are expected to lower energy usage by 2 billion kilowatts and prevent nearly 2 million metric tons of emissions from being released into the environment.”

More than $85 million was awarded through REAP in fiscal year 2011, of which blender pump projects received $4.28 million. The latest round of blender pump grants includes:

Freedom Rock Renewable Fuels LLC, Iowa - two grants totaling $99,503 to install three pumps

Heller Implement Inc., Iowa - $36,001 grant to install three pumps and a new underground biofuel storage tank

Marcus Junction LLC, Iowa - $7,500 grant to install one pump

Mid-Iowa Cooperative, Iowa - $94,211 grant to purchase and install six pumps

CC of Hays Inc., Kansas - $35,925 grant to install one pump, an underground biofuel storage tank and fuel lines

Zeeland Fuel Services LLC, Michigan - $500,000 grant to install seven pumps, multiple underground biofuel storage tanks and associate infrastructure

Farmers Cooperative Oil Co., Minnesota - $68,205 grant to install eight pumps

NCP Fuel Services LLC, Nebraska - $418,250 grant to construct a new fueling station that will include seven pumps

Farmers Union Oil Co. of Velva, North Dakota - $159,739 grant to purchase and install 13 pumps

Stone Oil Co. Inc., South Dakota - $33,307 grant to install pumps

CP Fuels LLC, Utah - $500,000 grant to construct and install five pumps