The power generated is enough to produce 166 Olympic-size swimming pools worth of Maltesers

Mars wind farm to power 100 per cent of UK operations

Food manufacturer Mars has signed a deal to create a large wind farm near Inverness, which will power its 12 plants across the UK.

The company, which produces brands including Mars, Extra, Uncle Ben's, Pedigree and Whiskas, has agreed a 10-year partnership with Eneco UK to receive electricity from a new 20-turbine wind farm in Moy.

The 60-megawatt wind farm will generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of the electricity required to power all of Mars’ 12 UK sites and it aims to be completely carbon neutral by 2040.

Mars has been operating in the UK for 84 years, with three million Mars bars produced each day at its plant in Slough.

Barry Parkin, Mars’ chief sustainability officer, said: "We're not there yet, but we recognise all businesses have a responsibility to tackle climate change and we hope our partnership with Eneco at Moy will encourage other companies to take steps to reduce their own carbon footprint through renewable energy. Working together, government and industry can move the needle on climate change."

The power generated at Moy is equivalent to that used by 34,000 average UK households or enough to make the number of Maltesers needed to fill 166 Olympic-size swimming pools Mars claims.

Zoisa Walton, Eneco UK country director, 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."

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: "With its huge renewable energy resources, Scotland is an ideal location to source the power needed to create products sustainably. This is a great example of how business can help the UK meet its climate change targets."

However, the number of wind projects in the UK may lower in the future as the government scraps subsidies to support the sector.

On Monday, MPs rejected the latest amendment to the Energy Bill, which would have allowed a handful of wind projects given initial planning permission in Scotland to go ahead.

Yesterday, a fresh bid to reinsert the amendment into the legislation was defeated by 204 to 109, government majority 95.

The vote came after Energy and Climate Change minister Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth urged peers to bow to the elected House and stop blocking the Bill from becoming law.

Labour and Liberal Democrat peers continued to complain of ministers drawing an arbitrary line in the grace period for schemes to comply, denting investor confidence in renewables.

The Bill, which establishes an independent oil and gas regulator, is now set to become law.

The East Anglia One energy project, which will see the construction of 102 wind turbines off the coast in the North Sea, was confirmed at the end of April.

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