SunPower Adds 24-Hour Biodiesel Fueling Station

SunPower Premium Cold Flow Biodiesel is announcing the addition of a public, 24-hour biodiesel fueling station at its facility in Cumberland.

CUMBERLAND, WI -- SunPower Premium Cold Flow Biodiesel is announcing the addition of a public, 24-hour biodiesel fueling station at its facility in Cumberland. The fueling station is part of the early stages of SunPower’s operational expansion plan that will take place over the coming years.

The credit card-controlled fueling station will be operational by March and will run 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Three blends of SunPower’s premium cold flow biodiesel will be available to the public: B11 (11% biodiesel), B20 (20% biodiesel) and a B99 blend (99% biodiesel). Along with the biodiesel, the blends include traditional diesel fuel with a winter additive to increase engine performance.

“ The owners of SunPower Biodiesel are ecstatic that the dream of locally grown fuel - available to the public - is now a reality for the people of Northwest Wisconsin,” said SunPower CEO Ron Ruppel. “We welcome all consumers to try our fuel, and are confident that all will agree that locally grown diesel fuel is superior to all the other available diesel fuels in our marketing area. We envision the day when none of us in rural America will be held hostage to imported oil! “

Any equipment, machinery or vehicle that normally runs on traditional diesel fuel can run on biodiesel, a cleaner-burning and renewable form of fuel. SunPower’s biodiesel has a higher cetane rating, has 10 times the lubrication properties, and produces up to 50% less emissions than petroleum diesel fuel--making it a greener fuel alternative that is just as efficient as petroleum diesel. In a 60,000 gallon market test, SunPower’s biodiesel users reported more power, cooler-running engines and increased mileage. SunPower also uses biodiesel in its fleet, and recently added a hybrid diesel truck that uses biodiesel and an electric-back up. The new
hybrid truck has an increased fuel economy of 20-30 percent, and meets emissions, anti-idling and noise regulations. The purchase of the truck and fueling station equipment was made possible with substantial funding from the Wisconsin Clean Transportation Program and is the first of its kind in the state from the Wisconsin Kenworth dealership.

Debate over government regulations for biodiesel has stalled biodiesel production in past years. However, the EPA has now established renewable fuel standards, and biodiesel producers like SunPower can move forward with their operations.

“It is exciting to see the government establish parameters for biodiesel,” says Logistics Coordinator Herb Blaser. “We can move ahead and plan production appropriately. We have a clearer picture and can continue expansion efforts.”

Expanding crop land for oil seed

With the new fueling station and increased production, SunPower facilities move closer to reaching their capacity of 3 million gallons per year, which has also increased the need for area crop land. Cumberland-based DRM Farms, the largest supplier of oil seed to SunPower, has expanded its available crop land nearly 25 percent in response. According to Blaser, they are currently looking to partner with more farmers and landowners who may be willing raise oil seeds--namely canola. Blaser notes that with a shorter growing season, canola is an excellent crop for rotation. He says canola also competes with soybeans in profitability, and adds that the oil from canola is considered a premium source of feedstock in biodiesel production.

DRM and SunPower use a cold-press process when squeezing the oils from the seeds. This creates a meal co-product, which Blaser says has become a popular choice in local dairy, beef and poultry operations. DRM has a program available for partnering farmers that allows them access to meal and biodiesel. SunPower also has seed storage and drying facilities on site. These capabilities allow farmers to have an outlet for crop storage without having to worry about transporting it to other locations, saving heavy transportation costs in the process.

Since its beginnings in 2006, SunPower Premium Cold Flow Biodiesel has worked to find a renewable and sustainable fuel source for future generations. SunPower’s biodiesel is a cleaner-burning and renewable form of fuel that can easily be used in any equipment or vehicle that uses petroleum-based diesel fuel.

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