Mars Snackfood US and PSEG Solar Source LLC recently broke ground on a solar garden at Mars’ US Corporate Headquarters and manufacturing site in Hackettstown, N.J. The solar garden will be home to more than 28,000 solar panels and the largest solar garden in the State of New Jersey to be installed by a food manufacturing plant. The solar garden will provide two megawatts of solar electric power during peak hours, which is equivalent to approximately 20 percent of the plant’s peak consumption. In addition, the solar garden will reduce CO2 emissions by more than 1,000 metric tons, equivalent to removing 190 vehicles from the road each year.
Mars Snackfood US and PSEG Solar Source have created a long-term partnership to ensure the success and longevity of the Hackettstown solar garden. PSEG Solar Source will own the system located on Mars Snackfood US’ property. Mars has contracted for the entire output of the system. Engineering, procurement and construction services will be provided by juwi solar Inc., a solar energy company based in Colorado. The solar garden is scheduled to be complete in October 2009.
In addition to the solar garden, Mars Snackfood US’ Hackettstown plant has also developed environmental and energy savings initiatives including reducing waste sent to landfills, recycling of packaging and raw material byproducts and a lighting retrofit project to further reduce electricity consumption. Mars Snackfood US has also been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its methane gas project at its Waco, Texas manufacturing plant. The plant receives methane gas directly from the City landfill to power the plant’s boiler system. The methane gas will provide approximately 60 percent of the Waco plant’s total boiler fuel requirements for the next 25 years. The project has also received the Keep Waco Beautiful Partners in Pride 2009 Sustainability Award and the Texas Environmental Excellence Award.