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.
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.