May 31 (Renewables Now) - Mars Australia said today it will switch to 100% renewable electricity by 2020 via power purchase agreements (PPAs) with Total Eren SA, the French renewable energy company where oil group Total SA (EPA:FP) owns a stake.
The Australian business of the global candy and pet food maker said it has signed 20-year contracts with Total Eren that will meet the electricity needs of its six factories and two sales offices in the country.
The deal relates to Total Eren's Kiamal solar project near Ouyen in Victoria which is due to come online in the middle of 2019, and will also facilitate a second renewable project by Total Eren in New South Wales, according to the announcement.
The power produced at the Kiamal solar farm will be fed into the grid, while Mars will receive the Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). The company said that by helping to underwrite a part of the project, it gave Total Eren confidence to expand the solar farm to a planned stage 1 capacity of 200 MW.
"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, 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," he added.