PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota is ramping up its efforts to increase ethanol usage in South Dakota, thanks in part to a $1.5 million U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Commodity Credit Corporation (USDA – CCC) federal grant awarded to the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED).“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.One of the biggest changes to the Ethanol Infrastructure Program is that successful grant applicants will now have the opportunity to receive up to 90 percent of the first $29,000 in costs for each blender pump, otherwise known as flex pumps. Another change to the program allows for additional funding for the state’s storage tank installation program. That program helps stations purchase and install additional fuel storage if needed for the installation of new ethanol blender pumps. The storage tank program will now pay costs of a new tank at 90 percent of the first $40,000 in costs.To help promote and manage the application process, the GOED has contracted with Project Solutions, Inc. (PSI), a company based in Rapid City. “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.”Costello is encouraging stations across the state to look into this program. “The process of applying is competitive. The first round of applications is now being accepted, and the deadline to apply is March 1, 2016. To make it easier for station owners to apply, GOED is accepting a simpler Intent to Apply form for the March 1 cycle. A fully completed Formal Application will need to be submitted by March 15, 2016 to remain in the first round cycle. Additional application round deadlines are scheduled for April 15 and June 15, if required. The goal is to have 74 new blender pumps installed statewide with the support of the USDA grant.”Applicants can submit to:Governor’s Office of Economic DevelopmentAttn: Paul Mehlhaff, Ethanol Infrastructure Incentive Program Manager711 E. Wells AvePierre, SD 57501GOED’s Ethanol Infrastructure Incentive Program has two components: the Ethanol Flex Pump Program and the Storage Tank Program. For a complete list of guidelines and requirements and a downloadable application form or Intent to Apply, please visit www.sdreadytowork.com/ethanolprograms.
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