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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

American Natural Soy partners with Alliant Energy

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Mark and Julie Schuett of American Natural Soy in Cherokee recently received recognition as an Alliant Energy Performance Edge participant. The award was presented by Jan Bowles, Alliant Energy Strategic Account Manager and Tony Huggins, Alliant Energy Technical Sales Support Consultant. Photo by Ken Ross
When you see a business need, start with just an idea to address it and then follow through on creating a successful company in just a few short years, you have to be innovative.

Mark and Julie Schuett, along with a handful of farmers, did just that in creating American Natural Soy, now one of the largest organic oilseed processors in the United States. With that tradition of innovation, it just made sense that the company would pursue a "green" energy future and work to be energy-efficient, which is exactly what it did.

American Natural Soy partnered with Alliant Energy and tapped its Performance Edge program to reduce their energy use and become even more environmentally-friendly. The program provided assistance to both help the company insulate pipes that carry steam and superheated oils, and install custom-made, removable insulation blankets on boilers, valves, and flanges for multiple facets of their oil refinery process. With the business making a product for human consumption, where necessary, the insulation materials also had to be capable of standing up to cleaning and power washing equipment routinely used in the refining process.

Workers at American Natural Soy, including Mark Schuett (seated, fourth from left) and Julie Schuett (seated, third from left) gathered together during a recent presentation of an award from Alliant Energy. Photo by Ken Ross
"The Performance Edge program offered by Alliant Energy allowed us to make important energy-efficient improvements that will reduce our monthly energy bills and help the environment," said Mark Schuett, President of American Natural Soy. "With American Natural Soy being organic, we are certainly committed to being a "green" business and we will continue to seek out more opportunities for energy-efficiency."

American Natural Soy processes organic soy, flax, and other oils for human consumption and cosmetic applications. Recently, the company was in the news for starting to produce oils for the new Origins Organics line of Estee Lauder cosmetics.

"It was a pleasure working with American Natural Soy and Mark Schuett on this energy-efficiency project," said Jan Bowles, Alliant Energy Strategic Account Manager. "The company has really shown a commitment to the community and to being a good environmental steward."

The Performance Edge program is available to all Iowa commercial and industrial customers of Alliant Energy. The program packages energy savings with equipment improvements to reduce energy costs, with no initial capital investment on behalf of the customer. Alliant Energy assists with project identification and evaluation, including technology fit, economic impact and energy impact. Design assistance and project management are also provided for the installation of the new equipment.

Alliant Energy pays the initial cost of the equipment so that the customer has no capital investment. Businesses pay Alliant Energy for the new equipment through energy and non-energy cost savings over the next few years. Once the contract is complete, all the energy savings go straight to the customer's bottom line and the company continues to reap the benefits of the new equipment well into the future. Businesses can take advantage of Performance Edge for almost any energy-related process, including lighting, HVAC equipment, variable frequency drives, compressed air, industrial process equipment, refrigeration systems and more.

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