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    Mars Snackfood US Turning to Solar Power

    New solar garden will power Hackettstown factory.

    HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. -- Every fifth M& M candy that comes out of the Mars Snackfood US factory here will be made with solar energy, according to a report in The Express-Times.

    That's how one town official characterized the 20 percent of the factory's power needs that would be drawn from a 14-acre grid of solar panels unanimously approved recently by Hackettstown's zoning board of adjustment.

    "There's no noise. There are no lights. It doesn't cause any [rainwater] runoff and [the panels] are not obtrusive at all. The whole technology, it's exactly what we want," said Tom Marshall, a member of the board. "You have the technology and [land use] law coming together for the benefit of society."

    Mars Snackfood plans to use 29,000 panels on 14 acres at its Hackettstown facility to generate two megawatts of electricity. As pitched to the zoning board, construction is expected to begin in April and conclude in August, Marshall told the newspaper.

    The field of panels will be behind the factory, far enough away that the closest residents would not see them, Marshall said.

    "There's going to be very little disturbance," he told the newspaper. "It's hard to imagine a project more environmentally sensitive than this use."

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