Wind Power Is Getting Sweeter

Earlier this week, Mars Incorporated, in partnership with Sumitomo Corporation of Americas, announced an agreement on a new 200-MW wind farm that will meet 100 percent of the electrical needs of Mars Inc.’s U.S. operations, which include 37 factories employing 25,000 associates.

The wind farm, “Mesquite Creek Wind,” will consist of 118 1.7-MW GE turbines.  Sumitomo and BNB Renewable Energy are jointly developing the project.

With an expected annual output of more than 800,000 megawatt-hours, the energy created from the wind farm will represent 24 percent of Mars’ total global factory and office carbon footprint, according to the company.  Mars said that this wind farm represents the biggest long-term commitment to renewable energy use of any food manufacturing business in the United States.

BNB, the originating developer of the wind farm, began discussions with Mars and brought Sumitomo Corporation in on the joint venture. Sumitomo Corporation and Mars have reached contractual arrangements that allow Mars to receive all the renewable energy certificates from Mesquite Creek.

“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,” said Jonathan Butcher, Sr., a founder of BNB.

Development of Mesquite Creek began in 2008 on the 25,000 acre site, which is located in Borden and Dawson Counties, Texas, about eight miles from Lamesa. Blattner Energy Inc. is constructing the wind farm. Turbine delivery is scheduled to begin at the end of the summer, with commercial operations expected to commence in the second quarter of 2015.

Lead image: M&M’s via Shutterstock

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