Growth Energy to expand fuel infrastructure

By Luke Geiver | January 04, 2010
Posted Jan. 20, 2010

Growth Energy received a $200,000 grant from the U.S.DOE to expand ethanol fuel infrastructure. At least 10 E85 dispensers will be installed at existing gas stations in Norfolk, Va., and Seattle, Wash. The award was one of eight given from the DOE to support ethanol infrastructure at existing retail fuel locations. The other states expecting funding include: Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Texas, Virginia and Washington. The plan for each state is to install E85 pumps and retrofit existing pumps for the use of E85 for a total of 45 E85 dispensers and 16 blender pumps at approximately 60 gas stations. The stations will be chosen based on locations close to key driving corridors, or areas with higher concentrations of flexible fuel vehicles.

"Growth Energy applauds the continued support of U.S. DOE Secretary Steven Chu and the Obama Administration to further the production and availability of homegrown, renewable fuels," said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy. "By increasing the use of ethanol in America, we will create new green collar jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, strengthen our national security, and improve the environment." Along with the grants given to Growth Energy, Chu has announced an investment of $78 million for advanced biofuels research at two biofuels consortia. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment act, biofuel funding now equals $80 million.

Although the announcement from the DOE comes as welcome news, Growth Energy is still waiting for some information regarding expectations on how the funds need to be handled, or what selection requirements are tied to the funds. In the meantime, Growth Energy currently has a market development staff located in Jefferson City, Mo., devoted to working with petroleum retailers, state and local groups (such as corn associations), in an effort to find support and funding for the installation of blender pumps.