IKEA has bought a wind farm under construction in Illinois – its first in the US and its largest renewable energy investment to date.
The Hoopeston wind project will have a total capacity of 98MW – currently being built by Apex Clean Energy – and is expected to be fully operational by the first half of 2015.
It will generate up to 380GWh of renewable electricity every year – equivalent to powering around 34,000 homes. The project will also help cut carbon emissions equal to taking 55,000 cars off the road.
The giant furniture retailer is seeking to produce as much renewable power as it consumes by 2020 and the Hoopeston plant is expected to meet around 18% of the company’s total demand.
Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer at IKEA Group said: “The US has amazing wind and sun resources that will never run out. We are delighted to make this investment – it is great for jobs, great for energy security and great for our business. Importantly, it’s great for the future of our climate.”
IKEA has installed around 550,000 solar panels on its buildings in nine countries. Last year it produced more than 1,400GWh of energy from renewable sources including wind and solar – equivalent to 37% of the company’s total needs.