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S. Dakota Leads U.S. in Conversion to Ethanol Pumps

A $1 million grant program will put South Dakota in a leadership position pack nationwide in the availability of ethanol blender pumps for motorists, Lt. Gov. Dennis Daugaard said today.

The grants, which were processed through the state Energy Policy Office in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, will help business owners install blender pumps at fuel stations across the state, he said.

“As of June 1, there were 157 service stations with blender pumps in 14 states,” Daugaard said. “Minnesota was in the lead with 49, and South Dakota had 42 of them. I’m proud to say that this grant program will make South Dakota the national leader in ethanol blender pumps.”

Daugaard said the grants will result in installation of up to 100 blender pumps at 49 more fuel stations in 40 South Dakota communities. That will bring the total number of stations in the state with blender pumps to 90.*

Blender pumps allow motorists to select the amount of ethanol in fuels, starting with the traditional 10 percent blend and moving up to blends of 20, 30 and 85 percent ethanol. Studies have shown that mid-level ethanol blends can improve the fuel efficiency of some vehicles. Flexible fuel vehicles can operate on any blend of gasoline and ethanol.

“These pumps will conveniently tailor the amount of ethanol in fuel to fit the capabilities of various vehicles,” Daugaard explained. “That will not only benefit motorists but also should increase ethanol use, and that is welcome news for corn farmers, too.”

The grants will allow blender pumps to be installed in the following communities: Aberdeen, Arlington, Baltic, Black Hawk, Brookings, Chamberlain, Chancellor, Corsica, Faulkton, Flandreau, Fort Pierre, Frederick, Freeman, Garretson, Gregory, Hoven, Howard, Huron, Ipswich, Kennebec, Lake Preston, Lennox, Leola, Menno, Mitchell, Mobridge, Onida, Parker, Philip, Redfield, Rosholt, Sioux Falls, Sisseton, Tripp, Tyndall, Warner, Wessington, Wessington Springs, Woonsocket, and Yankton.

A 2010 law signed by Gov. Mike Rounds appropriated $1 million for blender pump grants.

Eligible retail fuel dealers qualified for grants of up to $10,000 per pump to defray the cost of installing blender pumps. The new pumps can cost up to $25,000 each. Funds for the grant program were allocated to South Dakota through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus funds).

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