CleanTechnica is the #1 cleantech-focused
website
 in the world. Subscribe today!


Clean Power mars solar garden las vegas chocolate factory

Published on February 27th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan

11

Solar Garden for Mars Chocolate (M&Ms Maker) Unveiled

Share on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookPin on PinterestDigg thisShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someone

February 27th, 2012 by Zachary Shahan 

Mars Chocolate has unveiled a new solar garden (aka solar farm or solar power project) at its Henderson chocolate factory in Nevada. Mars Chocolate produces M&Ms, as you may well know, as well as Las Vegas’ Ethel M chocolate and numerous other chocolate and candy options.

mars solar garden las vegas chocolate factory

The new solar project provides the chocolate factory with 100% of its electricity. On Thursday, state and local government officials, executives from NV Energy, juwi solar Inc. (JSI), and Mars Chocolate North America leaders cut the ribbon on the new solar garden (just sounds nicer, doesn’t it?). Here are some details on the project:

  • It includes 2,112 ground-mounted solar panels on 4.4 acres.
  • The solar project “generates 1,258 megawatt hours of zero-emission electricity each year, offsetting 867 metric tons of greenhouse gas – the equivalent of removing approximately 170 vehicles from the road.”
  • Put another way, it produces enough energy to power 115 Nevada homes.
  • It is “the largest solar installation by a food manufacturer in Nevada.”

It’s not the largest solar project in the world, but it does what it needs to do and cuts a slice out of some overabundant greenhouse gas emissions.

Mars’ Commitment to Solar & Other Renewable Energy Sources (Considerable)

This isn’t Mars’ first foray into solar energy, of course. As I reported back in 2009, Mars turned on a solar garden at its headquarters in New Jersey back in November of that year. I remember a commenter getting on me for not including a photo of that project at that time — luckily, Mars released a photo of this new solar garden with the announcement in Vegas.

“At Mars Chocolate North America, we have the opportunity to make a difference in the world,” said Mike Wittman, vice president of supply. “We are proud of the investments we are making to ensure we are using the earth’s resources responsibly. This newest solar garden moves us closer to our goals of eliminating our carbon footprint at our sites by 2040 and using 100 percent renewable energy.”

No matter what you think of prepackaged chocolate, you have to appreciate that goal and this new solar project.

More on Mars’ Nevada Solar Garden

Additionally, over 700,000 annual visitors to the adjacent Ethel M Botanical Cactus Garden will be able to view the solar garden from a special vantage point dedicated to that. That’s one thing we sorely need — more eyes on live solar projects. It inspires others to follow suit, or at least helps to plant the idea in their heads.

Here are a few more details on the project:

“Mars will purchase all of the energy generated by the solar garden and JSI will own the project and its associated energy credits. Mars worked closely with NV Energy to ensure that the new installation met net metering requirements, enabling Mars to receive energy offsets from the utility based on the amount of energy their solar panels will produce.”

Connect with me on Google+, Twitter, or the little-known social networking site referred to as ‘Facebook.

Source: Mars

Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.



Share on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookPin on PinterestDigg thisShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someone

Tags: , , , , , ,


About the Author

spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as the director/chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of Solar Love, EV Obsession, Planetsave, or Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media. You can connect with Zach on any popular social networking site you like. Links to all of his main social media profiles are on ZacharyShahan.com.



  • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

    Thanks. Don’t anticipate needing to make any changes. :D

  • Krystal

    I wonder exactly how they got this worked out with the NV energy robber barons … since NV net metering only allow projects under 1MW and only allows net metering for 2% of the state’s annual demand. Our legislature needs to raise that limit and increase our RPS percentage while they are at it. California is considering just such a move.. so hopefully our legislature will be all “keeping up with the Calfornians” and do the same.

    • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Hmm, wasn’t aware of that — good questions.

    • Altman Jeff

      I appears to be less than 1 MW – more like 750kW based on PVWatts reporting 1663 kWh/installed kW in Las Vegas.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Don-Brock/1337428696 Don Brock

    I’d like to see a picture of all 2,112 panels. That would be impressive.

  • rommel43

    Looks like i need to go buy a bunch of M&Ms

  • http://www.QuestionAndPlanter.com/ Emmon

    Hi Zachary! This is a really inspiring story, particularly that this solar garden is supplying 100 PERCENT of the factory’s energy!!!!! I actually haven’t heard of any factory achieving that yet! Have an awesome day!

    • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Yeah, 100% is impressive! :D

Back to Top ↑