Grease at Petco Park is used to power equipment via Buster Biofuels
–“Going green” is considered cliché these days by naysayers, but to the San Diego Padres Baseball Club, it means corporate responsibility and a shift toward sustainability. To meet their sustainable goals, the Padres stepped up to the biofuel plate this season and introduced biodiesel into their Hotsy® pressure washers. The fuel was made from the park’s used cooking oil via Buster Bilofuels®, an emerging San Diego biofuel company. Biodiesel is a renewable fuel for diesel engines. It is non-toxic, biodegradable and significantly reduces emissions when compared to petroleum diesel fuel. Thus, the implementation of biofuel will reduce the Padres’ carbon footprint.
The pressure washer project has been in the works since Buster Biofuels approached the Padres last year and begancollecting the used cooking oil from the park. “We are always looking for new opportunities to reduce our carbon footprint and make Petco Park more energy efficient,” said Mark Guglielmo, Padres vice president of ballpark operations & general manager of Petco Park. “With approximately two million fans visiting the ballpark each season, we use a substantial amount of cooking oil. The idea that we could reuse that oil for another purpose within the ballpark was intriguing.” So, Guglielmo and his green committee took a serious look at the opportunity and ran it all the way to home plate. They designated two Hotsy pressure washers for the project.
“It was only necessary for the fuel nossles to be modified to accommodate the viscosity of the biodiesel which is slightly different than petroleum diesel”, says Will Phillips, Service Manager for Hotsy San Diego. “The minimal change enables the washers to run efficiently on higher blends of biodiesel and with identical performance as diesel fuel”.
So, why bother? Well, the pressure washers are little fuel hogs! They are used at Petco Park intensely for pre-season preparation, as well as in-season cleaning of the ballpark inside and out. “The pressure washer’s fuel consumption this February through March was slated to be more than 500 gallons”, says Buster Halterman, CEO of Buster Biofuels. “We can help the Padres reduce their CO2 emissions by nearly 8,708 lbs. during this period alone.” And with success of this program, the Padres plan to invest in more biodiesel capable equipment such as tractors that will mow the fields of Petco Park. This will enable them to utilize more of their recycled fuel and still leaves them with a surplus of used oil, despite the increasing demand ahead.
“When the Padres asked us to convert our equipment to bio-fuel we were not 100 percent sold on this type of technology,” said Adam Forchelli, operations manager for Aramark at Petco Park. “But after working with the machines that we converted to burn bio-diesel, we could not be happier with the results. Our fuel consumption has been reduced dramatically and we are doing the right thing for the environment. It’s a win-win situation.”
Last year, through the Buster Biofuels Alliance, the ball club announced its devotion to localized fuel supply by allocating oil that helps fuel the San Dieguito Union High School District buses in North County San Diego. The school bus program is picking up momentum and has been a collaborative effort through the Buster Biofuels Alliance of conscience companies such as Legoland California, La Costa Resorts & Spa and hundreds of San Diego restaurants that believe in localization and sustainability. “The Alliance companies want to be part of a more meaningful cause.” Jason Biddle, Chief Sales Officer at Buster Biofuels said. “Why use a big monster company and foreign resources when you can utilize small companies and resources right here in your own back yard? That is what the Padres are all about.” So, the biofuel company’s slogan “…GO FUEL YOURSELF!®” was music to the Padres’ ears.
Buster Biofuels was founded in 2009 by backyard biodiesel enthusiast and former professional skateboarder Buster Halterman, whose background also includes marketing, management and consulting in the action sports industry. Based in Escondido, California, the mission of Buster Biofuels is to initiate, establish and service green initiatives for restaurants and companies in San Diego County in an effort to reduce carbon emissions. The company is poised well for funding under the California Energy Commission’s AB118 program and is waiting for an award announcement from the Commission this summer.
Funding from the CEC will enable the company to build a third generation biorefinery with a capacity of 5 million gallons per year. Also, this in house production will enable the company to keep more of the used cooking oil local for bio distribution to more companies who are standing in line for Buster’s fuel.
To learn more about the San Diego Padres and their green initiatives, visit www.padres.com/gogreen.
To learn more about Buster Biofuels, visit www.busterbiofuels.com or call 760.266.5142 x101.