DISRUPTIONS to production at Wodonga's Mars pet food factory may be reduced over time as the company switches to 100 per cent renewable energy.
The company on Tuesday for the first time accessed power from the Kiamal solar farm near Ouyen, nearly 500 kilometres west of Wodonga, in Victoria's Mallee.
It follows Mars reaching an agreement with the farm's owner Total Eren in 2018 to provide power for its six factories and two office hubs across Australia.
Mars Food Australia general manager Bill Heague said the 718,000 panels at the solar hub had been connected to the national grid yesterday and 200 megawatts annually would be used by his company with eight to 10 megawatts reaching the Wodonga plant.
He said in time it would ease the firm's electricity bill and anticipated it would lessen disruption to output.
"We hope so, we'll be less dependent on other inputs into the electricity grid and the sun will keep shining and we won't have to worry so much around volatility with fossil fuels," Mr Heague said.
Mars global vice-president for sustainability Kevin Rabinovitch said the switch had also been motivated by environmental factors.
"Climate change is one of the most urgent issues of our time, and we recognise Mars has a responsibility - and opportunity, to improve our impact on the planet," he said.
IN OTHER NEWS
"She knows my keen interest in the path that she's pursuing here....and what that could mean for regional communities, not just householders, especially when it comes to investment in renewable energy," Mr Morrison replied to Dr Haines in parliament.
"Our government is considering the proposal in good faith....and we're also considering government's support for community driven renewable energy projects."
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