Clean Power

Published on May 15th, 2014 | by Nicholas Brown


Mars Agrees To Construct 200 MW Wind Farm

May 15th, 2014 by  

Mars Incorporated has agreed to the construction of a wind farm that will have a generation capacity of a whopping 200 MW. That is enough to cover the electricity usage of its entire US operations! Mars’ US operations comprise 70 sites, including 37 factories and 25,000 associates. The Mars wind farm will be built by Blattner Energy Inc.

Glowing wind turbines on on a mountain at night. Image obtained with thanks from: John Christian Fjellestad on Flickr.

Glowing wind turbines on a mountain at night.
Image Credit: John Christian Fjellestad on Flickr.

In case you aren’t familiar with Mars (is that possible?), it manufactures many famous snacks (for humans and pets), including Skittles, Milky Way, M&Ms, Snickers, Dove, Starburst, Twix, Mars, Whiskas, Pedigree, and more. The 200 MW wind farm is titled Mesquite Creek Wind, and it consists of 118 1.7 MW GE wind turbines installed on a 25,000 acre site with the assistance of Sumitomo Corporation and BNB Renewable Energy. Mesquite Creek wind farm is located in the counties of Dawson and Borden, Texas (about 8 miles from Lamesa).

“With an annual output of over 800,000 megawatt-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,” a Mars press release noted. “The wind farm represents the biggest long-term commitment to renewable energy use of any food manufacturing business in the United States.”

“By making this extraordinary commitment to buy renewable energy, Mars is sending a clear message that companies, private and public, have the power to lead the world on climate change,” said Jonathan Butcher, Sr., a founder of BNB. “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. Thank you Mars and Sumitomo.”

Commercial operation of the Mesquite Creek 200 MW wind farm is slated to begin in the second quarter of 2015, and delivery of the wind turbines will begin at the end of summer.

Commitments such as these also improve public perception of the Mars brand, of course. There is nothing better than having customers want to support you. Even if this project didn’t provide a return on investment (although it is likely to provide a very good one), it would still improve Mars’ brand perception, which could lead to increased sales. Brand loyalty is a powerful thing.

Notably, Mars also invested in a solar garden in Nevada a couple of years ago. A green M&M attended the ribbon cutting. And it invested in a solar garden in New Jersey back in 2009.

Do you think that Mars agreed to this primarily to improve brand perception, to reduce its energy expenses, or to protect the environment? Sound off in the comment section!

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About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is:

  • Wayne Williamson

    Think about this…
    800,000 MWH is 800,000,000 KWH at 0.10 dollars a KWH is 80,000,000 or 80 Million dollars in energy a year from a renewable source. That is so cool.

    • C Will

      118 1.7 MW wind turbines will have a capacity factor of about 25%.
      200MW x 365days x 24hrs = 438,000 MWH

      • Bob_Wallace

        With CFs now commonly above 40% and several over 50% you need to adjust your math.

  • Ronald Brakels

    I’m glad Mars is finally doing something about their carbon emissions. Their atmosphere is currently over 95% CO2 so it’s about time they did something. I hope we can get the Curiosity Rover to snap some photographs of the wind turbines.

    • Ronald Brakels

      Wait, it’s been pointed out to me that this is actually Mars the chocolate bar company and not the planet. My mistake. I think it’s great that they are building a 200 MW wind farm. That’s three quarters the size of my state’s largest wind farm and we’re the most wind farmiest state on the Australian continent, so it’s pretty impressive. But I am surprised they need so much energy to make chocolate bars, but they make Whiskas too and we go through a mountain of Whiskas a day in Australia, so I guess it all adds up.

      • JamesWimberley

        Look up “conching roller” on Google.

        As to Mars’ motives? A mixture. Clearly at current prices greensourcing your electricity is not costly, and may even appeal to cocoa-bean-counters as a hedge against rising fossil fuel prices. What is shameful is Walmart’s declaration a few years ago that they would go green, followed by canceling their wind purchases and increasing their carbon emissions.

      • Benjamin Nead

        Yeah, I read that headline and also immediately thought about the little green men with the flying saucers finally putting up PV panels on the Red Planet. Oh well . . .

    • 😀

    • I have to admit that I considered putting Mars Inc. in order to be clear but just liked this one so much more 😀

      • Offgridmanpolktn

        Sent this on to some friends with the title “Green candy bars to be available soon”. Your not the only one who can’t resist a little pun fun.

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