Gallery: M&Ms Factory Goes Green with New Solar Garden

solar power, photovoltaics, Mars Chocolates, M&Ms, MMs, candy, solar powered factory, Hackettstown, New Jersey, PSEG Solar Source

Yesterday in Hackettstown, New Jersey, Mars Chocolate flipped the switch of their shiny new 2 MW photovoltaic system. This pic may depict the popular candies catching some rays next to the new solar panels, but don’t worry, Mars still guarantees that M&Ms won’t melt before they reach your mouth! The Solar Garden sits on 18 acres of property that was beforehand just a vacant lot. Now enough electricity for one-fifth of the Hackettstown factory’s needs is produced from the system, meaning that every fifth M&M you eat was made courtesy of the sun. So gather up four friends and dole out those colorful candies, because each one you eat will be green(er).

The Mars Chocolate PV system is owned by PSEG Solar Source, who is also working on a number of other large solar installations around the country. PSEG Solar Source will be repaid for the system through a 30 percent federal tax credit, the sale of electricity to Mars and the sale of solar renewable energy credits to other power-generation companies. The Hackettstown factory, with its 28,000 panels, now has the largest solar system in NJ operated by a food manufacturer.

Yesterday’s flip-switching ceremony was attended by the famous trio of M&Ms, Victoria Mars (ombudsman for the company) and a crowd of 150 people. Engineering for the Solar Garden was performed by Juwi Solar Inc. and the panels were manufactured by First Solar. Emissions are expected to be reduced to the equivalent of removing 190 cars of the road annually.

+ PSEG Solar Source

+ Mars Chocolates

Via and Renewable Energy World

Photos via PSEG


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1 Comment

  1. satjiwan November 12, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    If they are selling the solar RECs to other power generating companies, then the claim to be solar powered is passed along to the buyer. Every fifth M&M is not solar powered. (This is similar to how one buys wind REC in order to have wind power at their home even though the wind farm maybe outside of the local or regional power grid supplying your house.)

    The sale of solar RECs is a valuable tool to help finance solar installations, but too many installer companies and articles like this can mislead when they don’t make it clear that when RECs are sold the owner has rights to claims of solar power and the owner of the panels can no longer claim to be solar powered.

    Additionally, the power generating companies that are buying the RECs are probably trying to meet Renewable Portfolio Standard requirements to purchase a certain percent of renewable power. Buy selling your RECs to them, they don’t have to build their own solar installations since it’s cheaper to purchase those rights from others.

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