DETROIT -- NextEnergy, through a Biofuels Infrastructure Incentive Grant, will offer incentives to Michigan gas station retailers to install or convert fueling equipment to ethanol (E85) and/or biodiesel (B20).

The $150,000 incentive grant was awarded by the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth (DLEG). This is the second round of grant funding awarded to NextEnergy, the first being a $50,000 incentive grant, which NextEnergy is in the process of granting to six stations.

"Increasing the availability of alternative fuels and defraying the cost of distribution with this type of grant money is an essential step in reducing our dependence on fossil fuels," said Dan Radomski, market development director, NextEnergy. "The state's continued dedication to promoting alternative fuel and energy development, commercialization and availability positions Michigan well to become a world leader in the alternative energy industry."

The cash incentives range up to $3,000 per station for converting equipment to E85 or B20, up to $4,000 for installing new equipment to dispense B20 or $12,000 for E85. Projects must be completed and providing biofuel to the public by Aug. 31, 2007, and station owners must agree to provide the E85 or B20 for at least three years after receiving the incentive.

Ethanol and biodiesel are clean-burning, renewable fuels that can be made from Michigan-grown feedstocks.

Currently, ethanol is made primarily from corn and biodiesel from soybean and other seed oils and waste grease. Auto manufacturers are producing E85-compatible vehicles in an increasing number of models and diesel powered vehicles can use biodiesel blends with no conversion needed.

Funding for the Biofuels Infrastructure Incentive Grant was made available through a grant from the State Energy Office, a division of the State of Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth. NextEnergy is managing the implementation of the program in coordination with the Clean Energy Coalition, an Ann Arbor-based nonprofit which was also awarded funding through the state program.

Other program partners include the Michigan Corn Marketing Program, Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee, National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition, and National Biodiesel Board. Applications for grant funding must be received by Dec. 15.

NextEnergy, Michigan's alternative energy accelerator, is a non-profit corporation founded to enable the commercialization of energy technologies that positively contribute to economic competitiveness, energy security and the environment. NextEnergy drives energy technology collaborations, market
development, and new business venture support to position Michigan as a leader in the emerging alternative energy industry.

SOURCE: NextEnergy via PR Newswire.