Mars Agrees To Construct 200 MW Wind Farm

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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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Nicholas Brown

Has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is:

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