There's a new power source at Alliant Energy Corporation and it's not electricity or natural gas.
Alliant Energy has extended its commitment to green energy sources beyond wind, solar and biomass to alternative fuels like biodiesel and E85. These fuels now power the company's fleet of 800 service trucks.
Biodiesel is produced from domestic, renewable resources like soybeans. It is easy to use, biodegradable and nontoxic. With a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, E85 burns cleaner than gasoline and is environmentally friendly.
The change to E85 and biodiesel was driven by one of the company's core values of protecting and preserving the environment.
"It's more about making sure we do all we can to have a cleaner environment while supporting agriculture and industries that are fueling the growth of renewable energy sources," says Barbara Siehr, vice president of Customer Service Operations. "Each step we take toward voluntarily reducing emissions and growing domestic energy production will benefit the next generation."
The 800 service trucks including trenchers, digger derricks, tractors and bucket trucks use homegrown, clean-burning biodiesel. Some of these larger service trucks have been using biodiesel since late 2006 when the company launched an alternative fuel pilot.
The vehicles will be delivered and issued to their operators this summer.
"The transition from petroleum-based fuels to alternative fuels has been seamless with no issues," says Siehr.
The alternative fueled service vehicles will include special decals indicating they are powered by an environmentally-friendly fuel.