The Minnesota Department of Commerce released its year-end station report outlining ethanol-blended fuel sales for 2017. The numbers detail the building momentum behind ethanol-blended fuels in Minnesota.
First, 2017 was a banner year for E15, which totaled more than 19 million gallons in sales. Compare that volume to 2016 when 5.7 million gallons were sold, and it is more than a 230-percent increase year-over-year. More than 4.6 million gallons were sold in December 2017 alone.
E15’s recent fast-paced growth can be attributed to the rise of ethanol infrastructure in Minnesota. In 2015, Minnesota was selected to receive funding as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership to help retailers install pumps that offer ethanol blends. Supplemented by a variety of Minnesota partners, including the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, more than $14 million was invested in E15 infrastructure. The result: E15 locations grew from 14 in 2014 to more than 250 at the end of 2017.
E85 sales also grew in 2017. The Minnesota Department of Revenue reported more than 14.8 million gallons of E85 were sold in 2017—a nearly 18-percent increase compared to the prior year. Last year was the highest volume of E85 sold since the Department of Revenue started tracking sales in 2013.
“The work to grow ethanol infrastructure and raise awareness of the many benefits of ethanol-blended fuels has ignited momentum for sales at all blend levels,” said Mitch Coulter, commodity and biofuels director with MCGA. “We will continue efforts to make the lower-priced, high-octane option at the pump even more accessible.”
MCGA works with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota Biofuels Association, Prime the Pump, ethanol producers and the American Lung Association to expand ethanol infrastructure and market the clean air benefits of ethanol-blended fuels.