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Mars Inc. will soon be powering 100 percent of it’s U.S. electricity with wind energy.
That means all of the company’s 70 sites, which include 37 factories and 25,000 associates, will be powered by renewable energy.
The company is partnering with Sumitomo Corp. of Americas and BNB Renewable Energy to build and run a new, 118-turbine, 200MW wind farm, which will be called ‘“Mesquite Creek Wind.”
Barry Parkin, Mars, Inc.’s chief sustainability officer, says the company is delighted to be announcing such a major renewable project that will help Mars take a big step toward its goal of becoming carbon neutral in its operations.
“We are committed to doing our part to limit climate change,” he says. “This is an innovative approach that makes great business and environmental sense.”
Slated to be based near Lamesa, Texas, the 25,000 acre wind farm will have an annual output of more than 800,000 megawatt-hours.
The energy created from the wind farm will represent 24 percent of Mars’ total global factory and office carbon footprint — equivalent to the electricity required to power 61,000 U.S. households.
The wind farm — which Mars claims is the biggest, long-term commitment to renewable energy use of any food manufacturing business in the United States — is just one of the ways Mars is working toward its goal to make its operations “Sustainable in a Generation.” Specifically, the company plans to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.
In the shorter term, Mars has committed to reducing fossil fuel energy and greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2015, using 2007 as its baseline year. The Mesquite Creek wind farm will enable Mars to meet this 2015 goal.
BNB, the originating developer of the wind farm, began discussions with Mars and brought Sumitomo Corporation in to the joint venture.
Sumitomo Corp. and Mars, Inc. have reached contractual arrangements that allow Mars to receive all the renewable energy certificates from Mesquite Creek, offsetting the energy use for Mars’ entire U.S. facilities.
Jonathan Butcher, Sr., a founder of BNB, says this project shows that companies, private and public, have the power to lead the world on climate change.
“It’s good for the bottom line, it’s good for the environment, and projects like this leave a lasting legacy of values we hold dear,” he says. “Thank you Mars and Sumitomo.”
Development of Mesquite Creek began in 2008 on the 25,000 acre site, which is located in Borden and Dawson Counties, Texas, about eight miles from Lamesa.
Blattner Energy Inc. is constructing the wind farm, and electricity will be generated via 118 1.7MW GE turbines. Turbine delivery is scheduled to begin at the end of the summer, with commercial operations expected to commence in the second quarter of 2015.
William Cannon, v.p. of Sumitomo Corp.of Americas, says his company is pleased to partner with Mars to help them reduce their carbon footprint.
”Mesquite Creek is a landmark project for Sumitomo and our sixth renewable energy investment in the U.S., further strengthening our commitment as a major developer and owner of renewable energy,” he says.