You’ve heard of solar power heating homes and lighting buildings—but are you ready for the latest sun-powered news? Mars Chocolate, the company behind beloved M&Ms, Mars Bars and Twix, through a newly launched solar garden at its Ethel M factory in Nevada, is now using the sun to melt down chocolate.
“At Mars Chocolate North America, we have the opportunity to make a difference in the world,” said Mike Wittman, vice president of supply for Mars, in a press release. “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.”
The new solar garden Wittman references is the largest installation of solar panels by any food manufacturer in Nevada, boasting 2,112 ground-mounted solar panels on 4.4 acres. It generates 1,258 megawatt hours of eco-friendly, zero-emission electricity annually—enough to power 115 Nevada households each year, offset 867 metric tons of greenhouse gas or to remove 170 vehicles from the road. It will fully power the chocolate factory during peak operating hours.
Demonstrating the sustainable focus made by Mars, this project is the second solar PV installation on its properties, the first being at its North American headquarters in Hackettstown, New Jersey.
“We are fortunate to have been a part of the Henderson and Las Vegas community for more than 30 years,” said Mack Phillips, site director of the Henderson plant. “We hope the completion of our solar garden demonstrates our continuing commitment to be an environmentally friendly citizen. Our goal is that every business decision we make will have a positive effect on people and the planet through our performance. This project achieves all three.”
At Soluxe Solar, we love hearing about new and innovative uses for solar energy and look forward to seeing how other industries follow the chocolate-maker’s example and set the world up for cleaner, more sustainable power!