The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
IKEA Buys First Wind Farm, Its Largest-Ever Renewable Energy Investment
That all changed Thursday when the Swedish company announced that it was making the first wind energy purchase of its 71-year history.
The company is buying Hoopeston Wind Farm in Hoopeston, Ill., about 110 miles outside of Chicago. At 98 megawatts, the farm marks IKEA's single largest renewable energy investment.
"The U.S. has amazing wind and sun resources that will never run out," Steve Howard, chief sustainability officer of IKEA Group, said in a statement. "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."
Apex Clean Energy of Charlottesville, VA will construct and manage the Hoopeston Wind Farm, hoping for it to operational by the first half of 2015. The farm will contain 49 Vestas turbines and generate enough energy to power 39,000 average Illinois homes. It will also contribute $11.3 million in new tax revenues to schools, roads and government in the area.
The project is major part of IKEA's mission to generate as much renewable energy as the power the company consumes by 2020.
“We are committed to renewable energy and to running our business in a way that minimizes our carbon emissions, not only because of the environmental impact, but also because it makes good financial sense,” said Rob Olson, IKEA's U.S. chief financial officer and . “We invest in our own renewable energy sources so that we can control our exposure to fluctuating electricity costs and continue providing great value to our customers.”
The 380 gigawatt hours of renewable energy that the farm will generate each year are equivalent to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions equal to taking 55,000 cars off the road, or the energy consumed by 70 IKEA stores.
While this will be IKEA's first wind farm, the company has already installed 550,000 solar panels on buildings in nine countries. In the U.S., IKEA has completed solar installations 90 percent of its stores in 20 states.
YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By David R. Montgomery
Would it sound too good to be true if I was to say that there was a simple, profitable and underused agricultural method to help feed everybody, cool the planet, and revitalize rural America? I used to think so, until I started visiting farmers who are restoring fertility to their land, stashing a lot of carbon in their soil, and returning healthy profitability to family farms. Now I've come to see how restoring soil health would prove as good for farmers and rural economies as it would for the environment.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released new numbers that show vaping-related lung illnesses are continuing to grow across the country, as the number of fatalities has climbed to 33 and hospitalizations have reached 1,479 cases, according to a CDC update.