Flyers Energy Evolves to Be Less Dependent on Petroleum Sales
AURBURN, Calif. — Celebrating its 40th year in business, Flyers Energy LLC has evolved to become less dependent on petroleum sales by expanding its renewable fuels division.
In the last two years, the company has also added diverse business and real estate investments to reduce its dependence on fuel sales such as express car washes, commercial office buildings, a hotel and several mobile home parks.
"We've reduced the impact volatile fuel prices have on our operation," said Walt Dwelle, managing partner.
According to Flyers Energy, alternative and renewable energy investments have been especially important to its operations. In the 1990s, the company started placing solar panels on top of the convenience stores. Today, it continues to be an equity investor in commercial solar projects in the western United States with more than 22 megawatts (MW) of production capacity and another 1.6 MW to come online this year.
In its latest endeavor, Flyers Energy-backed Calgren Renewable Fuels is injecting carbon renewable gas made from cow manure directly into Southern California Gas Co.'s natural gas system. In 2017, Calgren introduced a "supercritical" biodiesel production facility which uses distillers corn oil from the plant along with brown grease, acid oils and other low-cost feedstock. Calgren and a similar plant, a Flyers Energy's investment in Pratt, Kan., produce a total of 100 million gallons of ethanol annually as their primary function.
Starting from humble beginnings owning a handful of independent gas stations, Flyers Energy hasn't forgotten their roots in petroleum. After selling off all 39 convenience stores in 2017, the company acquired the Quick Fuel automated fueling network from another family-owned jobber in Milwaukee in 2018. The addition of 49 Quick Fuel sites brought the total number of Flyers Energy commercial fueling locations to more than 300 in 18 states.
Northern California-based Flyers Energy is a distributor of Chevron, Shell, Valero, and 76 branded fuel and is the largest participant on the Commercial Fueling Network.