Tennessee DOT accepting biofuel corridor grant applications

| April 1, 2010

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is now accepting applications for the next round of Green Island Biofuel Corridor Network grants. The deadline to apply for the grants is April 30, 2010.

The Green Island grant program is a competitive funding opportunity available to retail fuel station owners and farmer co-ops interested in promoting and selling two biofuel blends, E85 (ethanol) and B20 (biodiesel). The goal of the Green Island grant program is to establish a statewide network of publicly accessible B20 and E85 refueling stations, particularly along interstates and major highways and in major population centers.

“Green Island grants encourage and help expand the commercial availability of biofuels in Tennessee, giving motorists more options at the pump and reducing harmful vehicle emissions,” said Gov. Phil Bredesen in a written press statement. “This program is a vital piece of the state’s efforts to make biofuels a real option for Tennesseans.”

TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely says now that 65 biofuel pumps are serving Tennesseans across the state, this round of Green Island Grants focuses on completing the development of the Green Island Corridors.

“We want to identify partner retail fuel stations in areas along our major corridors where biofuel stations are not currently in place, particularly in the Chattanooga and Memphis areas,” Nicely also said in a written statement.

The Green Island grant program assists a limited number of retail fuel stations with the capital costs of converting or installing fuel storage tanks and dispensing equipment for B20 and/or E85. The maximum grant award is $45,000 per E85 or B20 fuel system ($90,000 for both fuels). Retail station owners must provide at least 20 percent of the total project costs.

There are currently 33 stations in Tennessee that sell E85 and 32 stations that sell B20, including several pumps which recently opened. In Tullahoma, the Quik Mart #3 at 600 South Jackson Street will become the fourth Edwards Oil Company station to offer biofuels. Edwards Oil Company stations in Columbia (both E85 and B20), Lewisburg (E85), and Shelbyville (B20) currently offer one or more biofuel options and in the coming weeks the Tullahoma station will begin selling E85. In Brentwood, the Little Brothers Shell station at 141 Franklin Road near Cool Springs is now offering E85. Motorists can also find B20 nearby at the Daily’s Shell station on Moores Lane.

To locate an E85 or B20 station, to www.tennesseeanytime.org/maps/, select your location, go to the “What” tab at the top of the menu and choose E85 or B20. To download a Green Island Grant application, visit www.tn.gov/tdot/biofuel/application.htm.

Biodiesel is a clean, renewable fuel produced from vegetable oils, such as soybeans, or animal fats. Pure biodiesel is nontoxic and biodegradable. B20 is a mixture of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel and can be used in almost all diesel engines without modifications.

Ethanol is a high octane, domestic and renewable fuel made from plant sugars. For vehicle use, ethanol is blended with gasoline in blends of up to 10 percent (E10) or 85 percent (E85) ethanol. Ethanol burns cleaner than petroleum gasoline and reduces the emission of carbon dioxide and a variety of pollutants that contribute to ozone levels.

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