USDA Gives $2 Million for Blender Pumps in 22 States
by Kris Bevill (Ethanol Producer Magazine) Thirty-three projects in 22 states have been approved for blender pump grants in the latest round of funding to be dispersed through the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program. A total of $27 million in grants and loan guarantees for various energy-related projects were announced by the USDA on Sept. 16. Blender pump projects comprise about $2 million of that amount. The latest announcement brings the total number of blender pump projects to receive REAP support to 54. In August, the USDA announced 900 smaller REAP awards, of which 21 were granted to blender pump projects.
This was the first year that blender pump projects were eligible to apply for REAP funding. The USDA set a goal in 2010 of establishing 10,000 blender pumps throughout the U.S. in the next five years. Allowing blender pumps to qualify for REAP funding is one of several strategies the agency has deployed in order to make the 10,000-pump goal more attainable.