Mars to power U.S. operations with wind energy
by Monica Watrous
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MCLEAN, VA. — Mars, Inc. has embarked on a new mission. Through a partnership with Sumitomo Corp. of Americas, the company is investing in a wind farm that will generate 100% of the electricity needs for its U.S. operations, comprised of 70 sites, including 37 factories.
Based near Lamesa, Texas, Mesquite Creek Wind was developed by Sumitomo and BNB Renewable Energy. With an annual output of more than 800,000 megawatt-hours, the 118-turbine wind farm will produce energy for 24% of Mars’ total global factory and office carbon footprint, equivalent to the electricity required to power 61,000 households.
Representing the biggest long-term commitment to renewable energy use by a U.S. food manufacturing business, the wind farm moves Mars toward its goal of achieving more sustainable operations and eliminating greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.
“We are committed to doing our part to limit climate change,” said Barry Parkin, chief sustainability officer at Mars. “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.”
Development of Mesquite Creek began on the 25,000 acre site in 2008. Turbine delivery is expected to begin at the end of the summer, with commercial operations beginning in the second quarter of 2015.