Beartooth Basin, MT Aims to Run on 100% Biodiesel

Jenah MacGrain | | Featured ArticleFeatured Article
Beartooth Basin Ski Area. Image: Billings Gazette

Beartooth Basin, a summer ski area in Montana, has been operating off of a diesel generator since the 1960s and is aiming to be the first ski area in North America to be powered 100% by biodiesel. The biodiesel, a cleaner-burning renewable alternative to regular diesel, will be provided by Full Circle Biofuels out of Bozeman, MT.

The biodiesel cycle. Image: Alternative Energy News

The idea came from the Mountain Rider’s Alliance-hosted event Summer Shredfest, where passionate skiers and riders gather with common goals of reducing emissions and supporting local businesses. The equipment will initially run on 20% biodiesel and 80% regular diesel (B20). Throughout the season the generator’s performance will be tested with B80 and even B100, as some biofuels may congeal at below-freezing temperatures.

Located at 11,000 feet, where the weather can turn to winter at the drop of a hat, Beartooth Basin has no lodge or warming hut. As one of North America’s oldest ski areas, the owners wanted to offer a variety of skiing activities, such as moguls, park, alpine training, etc, to a diverse group of snowgoers, and to help them enjoy everything that skiing has to offer.

Trail map of Beartooth Basin. Image: Lift Blog

The Basin hopes to influence other ski areas and pave the wave for more alternative fuel options to enter the snow industry. 

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