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Iowa Governor Signs Bill to Strengthen State’s Renewable Fuel Infrastructure

Through grants, the program helps motor fuel station retailers modernize their equipment to better meet Iowa’s increased use of renewable fuels.

Supporters of the program, including the Iowa Biodiesel Board and the Iowa Soybean Association, called the legislation “another important step forward in Iowa’s commitment to expanding the use of renewable fuels like biodiesel.”

“This continued significant IRFIP funding underscores Iowa’s commitment to advancing a sustainable and environmentally conscious energy landscape,” said Grant Kimberley, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board, in a written statement.

“The more infrastructure we have available, the more biodiesel will be accessible to consumers and used in the market,” he said

Kimberley noted that recipients of the infrastructure cost share dollars must offer blended biodiesel fuel for a minimum of five years, demonstrating a long-term commitment to advancing renewable fuels.

The revised program guidelines include an increase in the limit for retail biodiesel projects, now set at $1.75 million compared to the previous $1.25 million. This adjustment results in an additional $500,000 allocated annually to retail biodiesel projects.

As of January, 35 retail biodiesel applications had been suspended, totaling $1.7 million. These requests, if approved, would utilize nearly all of FY25 funding at the new increased level, underscoring the demand for expanded infrastructure support.

“Increasing the demand and accessibility of biodiesel is a top priority for Iowa farmers,” said Suzanne Shirbroun, president of the Iowa Soybean Association.

“With planting season well underway, we are encouraged by lawmakers’ continued support for this important program and look forward to seeing biodiesel gain an even larger footprint in our cities and rural communities,” said Shirbroun.

The program provides reimbursement of up to 70% of a fuel retailer’s costs up to $50,000 for specific project components, with a five-year commitment for the storage and sale of biodiesel blended fuels. Projects focused on heated terminal equipment and biodiesel infrastructure are eligible for a 50% grant up to $100,000 per project.

Iowa continues to lead the nation in both biodiesel production and comprehensive pro-biodiesel state policies, the groups said.

Iowa’s ethanol production rose to a record 4.6 billion gallons in 2023, up from the previous record of 4.5 billion gallons in 2022, according to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.

Biodiesel production in Iowa held steady at 350 million gallons, nearly the same as the 349 million gallons produced in 2022, the group said.

A recent economic analysis commissioned by the Renewable Fuels Association found that renewable fuels and biofuel production in particular are responsible for more than $6.5 billion, or about 3% per year of Iowa’s GDP; generates $3.2 billion in income for Iowa households; and supports nearly 52,000 jobs across Iowa’s economy.

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