Mars Inc., in partnership with Sumitomo Corp. of Americas, has announced an agreement on a new 200 megawatt (MW) wind farm that will generate 100% of the electricity needs of Mars’ U.S. operations, which is comprised of 70 sites, including 37 factories and 25,000 associates.
“Mesquite Creek Wind,” a 118-turbine wind farm was jointly developed by Sumitomo and BNB Renewable Energy and is based near Lamesa, Texas, with a footprint of 25,000 acres. With an annual output of over 800,000 MW-hours, the energy created from the wind farm will represent 24% of Mars’ total global factory and office carbon footprint—equivalent to the electricity required to power 61,000 U.S. households. The wind farm represents the biggest long-term commitment to renewable energy use of any food manufacturing business in the United States.
The wind farm is one of the ways Mars is achieving its goal to make its operations “Sustainable in a Generation” by eliminating greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. In the shorter term, Mars has committed to reduce fossil fuel energy and greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2015, using 2007 as its baseline year. The Mesquite Creek wind farm will enable Mars to meet this 2015 goal.
“We are committed to doing our part to limit climate change. We are therefore delighted to be announcing this major renewable project that takes us a big step towards our goal of becoming carbon neutral in our operations. This is an innovative approach that makes great business and environmental sense,” said Barry Parkin, Chief Sustainability Officer at Mars Inc.
Development of Mesquite Creek began in 2008 on the 25,000 acre site. 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.