Ethanol blender pumps offer choices for motorists

Choosing ethanol at the pumps just got easier for motorists fueling up at Sioux Valley Coop (SVC) in Watertown, S.D.  The coop recently installed blender pumps which will allow customers to essentially blend their preferred level of ethanol fuel.

For years, local gas stations have had diesel blender pumps that mix No. 1 diesel and No. 2 diesel. SVC wanted to offer the same ability for ethanol to their customers, who along with other ethanol supporters urged the coop to install the blender pumps.

SVC is only the second station in South Dakota, and possibly the nation, to offer ethanol blender pumps; Four-Seasons Coop in Britton, S.D., installed ethanol blender pumps just last month.

SVC will offer four islands with a total of eight pumps. Each pump will contain five buttons, with the price of that choice above each button. It gives drivers the option of using regular gas, gas with 10, 20, or 30 percent ethanol, and there’s E-85 for flex fuel vehicles. Motorists need only to push the button to select the blend they want. And as the ethanol content goes up the price goes down so the new pumps not only help people save money but also use more ethanol.

“We are really excited about this project,” said Gary French, general manager of SVC. “It is great for local agriculture, the community, the environment and patrons of SVC and our ethanol supplier, Glacial Lakes Energy of Watertown.”

If the project goes as well as anticipated, SVC will consider installing pumps at their Highway 20 location in Watertown, as well as their locations in Webster and South Highway 81 location in Watertown.

“What a wonderful opportunity for the local consumers to select the amount of ethanol they want to run in their vehicles by having these blender pumps,” said Tom Branhan, CEO of Glacial Lakes Energy. “It’s great to know that when you choose a blend of ethanol gas, you are pumping ethanol made from corn grown and processed right here in the local area. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

SVC in partnership with Glacial Lakes Energy, LLC ethanol plant will host a promotional event on April 14 to officially launch the blender pump offering. Planned at the Sioux Valley Coop C-Store located on Highway 212, a Yellow Dime event will be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. during which motorists can save 10 cents a gallon on any ethanol blended fuel. Motorists who chose ethanol-blended fuels during the promotion will receive one yellow dime back for every gallon of ethanol they purchase. The yellow dimes handed out during the event will circulate throughout the community, showing the impact of corn and ethanol production on the local economy.

The South Dakota Corn Growers Association will sponsor the Yellow Dime event along with Great Western Bank of Watertown, SVC and GLE, a partnering that will provide more than $500 worth of dimes to be given back to ethanol users that day.

“The Yellow Dime Promotion at Sioux Valley Coop is an excellent way to demonstrate the benefits of ethanol and its impact in local communities. Ethanol is a clean-burning fuel that will lessen our dependence on foreign oil and it’s a good way to keep the farming community strong and healthy,” said David Leiseth, corn producer from Hayti, S.D. and board member for the SDCGA.

In addition to the Yellow Dime savings, in-store specials and prize giveaways will highlight the event. A live radio remote will be held by KWAT 950 AM.

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