Drivers in northwest Indiana will soon have more options to fill up with ethanol-blended fuels at the pump thanks in part to Indiana corn farmers. Indiana Corn Marketing Council and the Indiana Office of Energy Development recently announced more than $789,000 will be provided to Family Express through the Hoosier Homegrown Fuels (HHF) Blender Pump Program, a grant partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Services Agency. Last fall, $268,000 was distributed during the first round of grant announcements.
“Increasing the accessibility to ethanol-blended fuels is a key priority of the Indiana Corn Marketing Council as our state’s ethanol industry is a major consumer of the corn produced across Indiana,” said David Gottbrath, Indiana Corn Marketing Council president and farmer from Washington County. “It is exciting to see Indiana fuel retailers, including Family Express, committing to provide easier access to Indiana’s homegrown, sustainable fuel.”
The goal of Hoosier Homegrown Fuels (HHF) Blender Pump Program is to expand the availability of higher ethanol blends in areas of Indiana where blends of E15 to E85 are limited or not available. Family Express is planning to install 45 flex fuel (blender) pumps capable of dispensing these higher ethanol blends in Jasper, Lake, Laporte, Porter, St. Joseph, Starke, Tippecanoe and White counties.
ICMC – the state corn checkoff – has committed more than $440,000 in matching funds with the goal of adding 110 pumps offering E15-E85 across the state. The grant program is also in partnership with the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Greater Indiana Clean Cities and South Shore Clean Cities who assisted in scoring the applications and provided outreach support. OED received $895,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership to put toward the HHF program.
ICMC has been working with fuel retailers to help increase the number of flex fuel pumps across the state for five years, including offering grants for installation. ICMC saw an opportunity through the USDA’s Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership to leverage state corn checkoff funds and partner with other organizations to expand ethanol’s availability to the roughly 450,000 Hoosiers throughout the state who drive Flex Fuel Vehicles.