Crossroads Convenience Store in Spencer, Iowa, became Iowa’s 100th E15 station, strengthening Iowa’s position as the number-one state in the U.S. for E15 refueling sites.
The Spencer store is owned by Wessels Oil Company, which has been in business since 1938 and currently owns and operates six convenience stores in northern Iowa. The company has been offering higher blends of biofuels at their stores—including E85, E20, E30 and B5—since 2014. The Spencer store is the retailer’s first location to offer E15.
“With the capability to offer E15 to all 2001 and newer vehicles, it made good business sense to get on board with offering another option to our customers,” said Lisa Wessels, Secretary of Wessels Oil Company. “E15 offers higher octane and is a cleaner fuel with less toxic chemicals that cause cancer, plus it supports jobs in the state’s ethanol industry. It’s a win-win situation because it also increases demand for Iowa agriculture.”
Wessels was granted funds from the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program (RFIP) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to install blender pumps and storage tanks to offer E15. RFIP offers cost-share grants to Iowa retailers wishing to upgrade fueling infrastructure to offer E15, E85 and/or biodiesel blends. Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw says this milestone in E15 history is a clear sign that these programs are working, and he expects access to E15 will only increase.
“RFIP has leveraged millions in private investments to make it possible for 100 stores and counting to offer E15 to 2001 and newer vehicles,” Shaw said. “More than 80% of the vehicles on the road today are approved to run on E15, and every year that market share grows. This 100th station is only the beginning for E15.”
The RFIP grants can cover up to 70% of the installation costs, up to a maximum of $50,000 per project, with a five-year commitment to sell E15, E85 or biodiesel blends. Retailers interested in learning more about the program can click here.