Big Sky Resort, MT, Pioneers Transition to Using Vegetable Oil as Replacement for Fossil Fuels

SnowBrains | | Industry NewsIndustry News
snowcats vegetable oil
Big Sky Resort’s snowcats running on vegetable oil. Credit: Big Sky Resort

In a groundbreaking move towards sustainable operations, Big Sky Resort in Montana is proud to announce the resort’s transition to a cleaner and better-performing fuel: 99% renewable diesel.

Renewable diesel, also known as hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), serves as a drop-in replacement for conventional petroleum diesel without requiring any engine modifications. Renewable diesel is derived from agricultural byproducts, such as animal fats and cooking oils, making it a responsible and renewable alternative to fossil fuels.

The resort’s shift to renewable diesel comes as part of an effort to reduce carbon emissions to net-zero, as outlined in the resort’s ForeverProject 2030 Master Plan. Through this transition, Big Sky Resort anticipates a substantial 60% reduction in emissions in the first year.

“By embracing renewable diesel, we’re demonstrating that this lower-carbon HVO diesel is friendly to burn in modern heavy equipment, and a viable alternative for others looking for an environmentally-conscious option.”

– Taylor Middleton, the resort’s president and chief operating officer

Big Sky Resort’s choice to utilize an R99 blend of renewable diesel demonstrates a commitment to the cleanest and most effective form of hydrotreated vegetable oil. The resort is currently utilizing renewable diesel in snowcats, trucks, and equipment, and even extending its usage to contractors who fill up at the resort’s fuel pump.

“Renewable diesel offers a substantial solution for us, especially since there are currently no viable alternatives for fully electric snowcats or construction equipment. Achieving a 60% reduction in emissions is a significant step forward.”

– Amy Fonte, the resort’s sustainability specialist

In addition to the resort’s efforts, R50 renewable diesel is now available to the public in Belgrade at the Commercial Fueling Network, enabling the community to adopt cleaner fuel sources.

“In partnership with Big Sky Resort and Yellowstone Teton Clean Cities Coalition, Parkland USA is proud to be the first to provide renewable diesel in the Gallatin Valley and Montana, marking a significant stride towards sustainability.”

– Cole Mort, business development manager, Parkland USA

“Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities is thrilled to have helped Big Sky Resort embrace the recent accessibility of this superior fuel while demonstrating the feasibility of swift and effective action towards substantial reductions in carbon emissions. While many are contemplating the transition to renewable diesel, the proactive leadership demonstrated by Big Sky Resort in concert with the efforts of Parkland USA and Farstad Oil will enable consumers and fleet operators across Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho to realize this possibility.”

– Jesse Therien of Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities

big sky vegetable oil trail map
Big Sky Resort, MT, trail map.

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