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Equipment upgrades help organization save energy and money

FULDA -- Interstate Power and Light Company, an Alliant Energy company, is helping an ethanol plant in southwestern Minnesota save energy with a new fan system. Heron Lake BioEnergy earned a substantial rebate check from Alliant Energy for work to convert its coal-fired boiler system to natural gas, and reduce electrical use at the same time.

Because of the way the natural gas boiler system works, fewer fans and motors are needed, resulting in a reduction of nearly 4.5 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) a year.

This translates to saving more than $275,000 in electricity.

"Ethanol is an environmentally-friendly fuel, and this switch will allow us to produce ethanol more efficiently," said Robert Ferguson, Heron Lake BioEnergy CEO. "By working with Alliant Energy, we were able to find the right process for our plant, which will make a big difference."

In addition to saving money on energy costs, Alliant Energy presented a rebate check to Heron Lake BioEnergy for approximately $555,000.

"When a company decides they want to save energy, new technology can really make a big impact," said Rebecca Gisel, Alliant Energy key account manager. "This is one of the largest rebate checks Alliant Energy has delivered to a customer in Minnesota, and that really emphasizes the commitment at Heron Lake BioEnergy."