Mars, Inc., McLean, Va., partnered with Sumitomo Corporation of Americas, New York, to build a new 200MW 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.
Called the Mesquite Creek Wind, this 118-turbine, 25,000-acre wind farm was jointly developed by Sumitomo and BNB Renewable Energy Holdings, LLC, New York, and pulls energy from Lamesa, Texas. It is located in Borden and Dawson Counties, Texas, about eight miles from Lamesa.
With an annual output of more than 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. This wind farm is said to represent the biggest long-term commitment to renewable energy use of any food manufacturing business in the United States.
Mesquite Creek Wind 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,” says 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.”
“We are pleased to be partnered with Mars to help them reduce their carbon footprint and allow their electricity to be carbon-neutral in the U.S. Mesquite Creek is a landmark project for Sumitomo and [is] our sixth renewable energy investment in the U.S., further strengthening our commitment as a major developer and owner of renewable energy,” says William Cannon, vice president, Sumitomo.
“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. 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,” says Jonathan Butcher, Sr., founder of BNB.
Development of Mesquite Creek began in 2008. Blattner Energy Inc., Avon, Minn., 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 this summer, with commercial operations expected to commence in the second quarter of 2015.