Mars Australia has signed 20 year power-purchase agreements (PPA) with Total Eren to generate the equivalent of 100 percent of Mars’ electricity from renewable energy by 2020. In addition to its latest agreement in Australia, Mars is already using or purchasing renewable electricity to cover 100 percent of its operations in Belgium, Brazil, Lithuania, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Total Eren is developing and will build the Kiamal Solar Farm near Ouyen, Victoria which will be operational in mid-2019. The Mars PPAs will also facilitate the planned build of a second renewable project by Total Eren in New South Wales. Mars has contracted for energy to match the electricity requirements of its six Australian factories (Asquith, Ballarat, Bathurst, Wacol, Wodonga & Wyong) and two sales offices (Melbourne & Sydney).
“The rise in electricity prices last year accelerated our plans to join Mars sites in the US, UK and 9 other countries in moving to renewable electricity,” said Barry O’Sullivan, a General Manager at Mars Australia. “We acted quickly because the price volatility of energy in Australia made renewables the best option for our business, in addition to getting us closer to our commitment to eliminate greenhouse gasses from our operations by 2040.”
As a country, Australia is currently one of the highest emitters of greenhouse gas per capita in the world, with electricity generation being a major contributor. The deal between Mars and Total Eren will play a role in reducing the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels, since the power generated at the Kiamal Solar Farm will be supplied to the national grid and increase the ratio of renewable energy in the National Energy Market.
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“Investing in solar power is a sound business decision in light of fluctuating energy costs in Australia. By adding renewables capacity and engaging suppliers, leaders like Mars can spur wider corporate action that can shift the local market away from fossil fuels and start bringing down the country’s high emissions,” said Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100 for The Climate Group.
“We have an extensive local supplier network and we’ll be talking to them about how they can help further reduce emissions in our supply chain,” O’Sullivan added.
By helping to underwrite a part of the project, Mars provided the security necessary to enable the project developers, Total Eren, to expand the solar farm to a planned Stage 1 capacity of 200 MW. In return, Mars will receive the Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) created by Kiamal Solar Farm, which are transferable for all Mars’ electricity use in all of its Australian facilities. Mars worked with global energy market advisor Commodity Risk Solution, LLC to structure and deliver the PPA. TFS Green brokered the Kiamal project to Mars as part of their Renewable Energy Hub corporate PPA services platform.
“Partnering with manufacturing thought leaders like Mars Australia is essential and sends a strong message to the rest of the market that now is the time to capitalise on the opportunities offered by renewable power purchase agreements and to drive positive change in the environment,” said Total Eren CEO David Corchia.
“Last year we announced we’re spending a billion dollars in the next three years to start transforming our supply chain to get those impact reductions,” said Kevin Rabinovitch, Mars Global VP of Sustainability. “We’ve made solid progress on the sustainability of our own operations since 2007, so now we’re in a good position to accelerate work and share lessons with our supply chain partners as we tackle impacts beyond our own operations.”