SPOKANE, Wash., Sept. 4 // -- Avista, in partnership with Inland Empire Oilseeds and Whitley Fuel, has begun testing the use of biodiesel on four service trucks in an ongoing effort to "green its fleet" by being more energy and fuel efficient. A new partnership has made the fuel available locally, and results so far show the clean-burning alternative fuel may be a successful long-term solution for Avista and others.
Avista began testing the use of the B20 blend of biodiesel in two flatbeds, a line truck and a bucket truck in August. Biodiesel does not require conversion of vehicles to use, and it typically costs a few cents more per gallon than regular diesel fuel. Produced with renewable resources, it is biodegradable and significantly reduces air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions.
"This project is part of Avista's culture of environmental stewardship and our ongoing efforts to reduce our own energy consumption," Roger Woodworth, Vice President of Sustainable Energy Solutions for Avista, said.
Inland Empire Oilseeds in Odessa, Wash. produces the biodiesel with oil crushed from Washington-grown canola seeds. Founded in 2006 as a joint effort by Avista, Odessa Union Warehouse, Reardan Grain Growers, and Reardan Seed Company, IEO began refining biodiesel last November. With the installation of its crushing line this summer, it became the first biodiesel company in Washington to fully integrate all production steps into one.
"The fact that we process canola grown in our local region and ship our biodiesel as well as our high protein meal to customers in Washington and Oregon not only keeps our costs low, but it also reduces the carbon footprint of our product," said Stephen Starr, General Manager. Starr added that canola biodiesel returns 4.5 times the energy used to grow and manufacture it, making it a highly sustainable fuel.
Until recently, the biodiesel has not been easy for local businesses to get on a large scale; recently Whitley Fuel partnered with IEO and Avista to store the biodiesel at its station on Third Avenue and Division Street in Spokane. The downtown location will provide convenient access to Avista and others as biodiesel becomes more widely used by local businesses and government agencies.
"Whitley Fuel is proud to partner with Avista and Inland Empire Oilseeds to offer the public a renewable motor fuel that reduces harmful emissions, supports our in-state economy, and reduces our dependence on foreign oil," owner Brian Whitley said. "Our 3rd & Division Shell station is centrally located and close to the freeway, making fill ups convenient for Avista and the public."
Earlier this year, Avista added two 2009 Toyota Priuses to its fleet, which were converted into Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) with extra battery capacity, allowing them to achieve up to 80 mpg. Avista has been offsetting the electricity the cars use with renewable power generated through solar panels installed on the top of the company's headquarters building in Spokane.
"Avista is committed to exploring clean, renewable energy options so we can do our part and also provide information and tools to our customers," Woodworth said. "We'll share our experience with our customers and communities so everyone can make good choices about renewable energy."
Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is our operating division that provides electric service to 353,000 homes and businesses and natural gas to 313,000 homes and businesses in three Western states, serving more than 492,000 customers. Avista's primary, non-regulated subsidiary is Advantage IQ. Our stock is traded under the ticker symbol "AVA." For more information about Avista, please visit www.avistacorp.com.
This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding the company's current expectations. Forward-looking statements are all statements other than historical facts. Such statements speak only as of the date of the news release and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the company's control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations. These risks and uncertainties include, in addition to those discussed herein, all of the factors discussed in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2008, and the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2009.
SOURCE Avista Corp.; Avista Utilities
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SOURCE: Avista Corp.; Avista Utilities
Web site: http://www.avistacorp.com/
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