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In an effort to reduce its carbon footprint, Mars says it will purchase enough renewable energy certificates (RECs) from the soon-to-be built Mesquite Creek wind farm to offset the energy used in its U.S. operations.

Mars - the maker of M&M'S, Snickers and Milky Way - says the wind farm will generate 100% of the electricity needs of its U.S. facilities, which include 70 sites, 37 factories and 25,000 workers.

With an annual output of more than 800,000 MWh, the energy created from the wind farm will represent 24% of Mars’ total global factory and office carbon footprint - the largest long-term commitment to renewable energy use of any food-manufacturing business in the U.S.

"We are committed to doing our part to limit climate change," says Barry Parkin, Mars' chief sustainability officer. "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."

Mesquite Creek, a 118-turbine wind farm located in Lamesa, Texas, was jointly developed by Sumitomo Corp. of America and BNB Renewable Energy.

According to Sumitomo, development of the wind farm began in 2008 on a 25,000-acre site. Blattner Energy is constructing the wind farm and electricity will be generated via 118 1.7 MW GE turbines. Turbine delivery is scheduled to begin at the end of the summer, with commercial operations expected in the second quarter of 2015.

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