A new wind farm in the Scottish Highlands is set to power the creation of some of the nation’s best-known chocolate bars and pet foods.
Now the equivalent of all the energy needed to produce the likes of Snickers, Mars Bars, Dolmio and Pedigree Chum in the UK will be supplied by a 20-turbine scheme at Moy, near Inverness.
The move comes after Mars signed a ten-year deal with the wind farm operator that will see its entire UK manufacturing operation run on 100 per cent renewable power.
Owned and operated by Dutch firm Eneco, the Scottish wind farm has an export capacity of 60 megawatts and an annual consumption over 125,000 megawatt-hours.
The power generated is equal to that used by 34,000 average UK households – or to make enough Maltesers to fill 166 Olympic-size swimming pools every year.
The deal is part of the company’s effort to shrink its carbon footprint and support UK climate targets.
Mars, which has 12 sites across the UK, aims to for its global operations to be fully carbon-neutral by 2040.
The latest deal follows the launch of a large-scale wind farm in Texas, which now generates the equivalent of 100 per cent of the electricity required to power the company’s entire US operations.
Mars has already achieved its global 2015 goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by a quarter from 2007 levels.
Barry Parkin, chief sustainability officer for Mars Incorporated, said: “We’re proud that the brands that we make here will now be manufactured using renewable electricity, and that we are reducing our carbon footprint in the UK and around the world.
“As with our wind farm in Lamesa, Texas, Moy will contribute significantly to our effort to eliminate fossil fuel energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from our global operations by 2040.
“The Moy Wind Farm is part of our innovative and long-term approach to achieving our goal to be a successful and sustainable business for generations to come.”
Zoisa Walton, country director for Eneco UK, said: “This project is very special to Eneco as it brings together all the elements of our strategy – a renewable generating asset, a like-minded partner in Mars, and the opportunity to deliver real benefits to the local community. We are proud to be supplying Mars UK and to be working with them to create a more sustainable future.”
Extra power from the Moy scheme will be offered to local residents via a new green tariff called Highlands and Mearns Wind.
National Grid figures show 2015 was a record year for wind energy generation. Onshore and offshore turbines produced 11 per cent of UK electricity last year, up from 9.5 per cent in 2014.