|For Immediate Release:
February 1, 2007
Governor Bredesen Makes Available $3.5 Million for
Three Alternative Fuels Grant and Loan Programs
Nashville – Governor Phil Bredesen made $3.5 million in grants and loans available today to increase the accessibility, development and production of biofuels in Tennessee. Bredesen announced the opening of the application processes on Wednesday in remarks previewing a comprehensive alternative fuels strategy to be proposed in his 2007-2008 budget.
“I believe we’re at a critical point in which Tennessee can be a national leader in the development of the alternative fuels market,” said Bredesen. “It’s a smart energy strategy, a smart economic strategy and a smart environmental strategy. Most importantly, it helps create new markets and new opportunities for Tennessee farmers.”
Four departments are involved in coordinating the alternative fuel grant and loan process and managing the allocation of funds: Agriculture, Economic and Community Development, Environment and Conservation and Transportation. The three programs include:
Feedstock Processing Demonstration Loans
“Tennessee’s economic growth and our standard of living are tied to energy production,” said ECD Commissioner Matthew Kisber. “The alternative fuel industry in Tennessee promises to be the next arena for long-term economic stability, job growth and research development, especially in rural areas. Having the basic infrastructure in place is central to our goal.”
Prospective applicants must submit a business plan with their application by March 15, 2007. Representatives of ECD’s Program Management Division and the Department of Agriculture will review each application for presentation to the Governor’s Alternative Fuels Working Group. The application will then be presented to ECD’s Loan and Grant Committee for determining the loan’s terms and conditions.
“This loan program represents a key element in developing our biofuels industry and providing more opportunities for Tennessee farmers,” said Agriculture Commissioner Ken Givens. “By attracting investment in soybean crushing facilities, we can help create local markets for an important agricultural product, make Tennessee farmers more competitive and bring more jobs to rural areas.”
After the first round of loans has been awarded, additional loan program
cycles will be announced until the funds available are exhausted. For more
information on the Feedstock Processing Demonstration Loan and application
materials, please visit
Alternative Fuel Innovations Grants
“These grants give local governments and universities the opportunity to craft projects that directly suit their needs,” said Environment and Conservation Deputy Commissioner Paul Sloan. “Priority will be given to counties not currently meeting federal air quality standards, and we hope local governments in these counties will take advantage of this additional tool to help bring these areas into attainment.”
Maximum grant awards are $40,000 for fuel purchasing, maintenance or fuel
promotional projects and $100,000 for capital projects. Applications will be
accepted through May 31, 2007. Once the first round of grants are awarded,
additional grant cycles will be announced for up to three years or until the
funds are exhausted. For more information on Alternative Fuel Innovations
Grants and application materials, please visit
Green Island Corridor Grant Project
E85 is a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline that can be used in flexible fuel vehicles designed to run on either conventional gasoline or ethanol blends up to E85. For diesel vehicles, B20 is a blend of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel. Biodiesel is a regulated diesel fuel made from natural, renewable sources such as plant oils or animal fats.
The program will assist retail stations with the capital costs of converting or installing the necessary infrastructure to offer B20 and E85 biofuels to the public. Retail stations will be required to provide at least 20 percent of these capital costs. The department’s goal is to have more than 50 biofuel pumps stationed along the state’s interstates and major highway corridors and in major population centers and communities in 2007.
"This grant program will make cleaner burning biofuels more commercially
available in Tennessee by establishing a series of retail biofuel stations
across the state," said TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely. "By the end of
2007, we hope to have biofuel stations up and running along all of
Grant applications will be accepted through April 12, 2007. For more information on TDOT’s Biofuel Green Island Corridor Grant Project, please visit www.tn.gov/tdot/biofuel/default.htm.
The three grant and loan programs are funded through part of the $4 million investment proposed by Governor Bredesen and approved by the General Assembly last year to promote the production and use of alternative fuels in Tennessee. These programs represent just one part of the Governor’s Alternative Fuels Working Group’s efforts in developing the state’s alternative fuels strategy. Other priorities include increasing biofuels availability at retail stations, producing more ethanol and biodiesel and communicating the importance of biofuels to the public.
More information on Tennessee’s work to promote the production and use of
alternative fuels can be found on the Web at: