Image: Steve Howard (left), Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA Group and Ben Ferrari (right), Director of Corporate Partnerships, The Climate Group, during the launch of RE100 at Climate Week NYC 2014
NEW YORK: IKEA has just announced it has purchased a 165-megawatt wind farm in Texas, US, making it the group’s largest investment in renewable energy to date.
The move is part of the home furnishing giant’s pledge to invest €1.5 billion (about US$1.9 billion) in solar and wind energy power by the end of 2015.
When fully operative in late 2015, the farm will consist of 55 turbines with a single capacity of 3 megawatts (MW). It being built by renewable energy company Apex Clean Energy in the county of Cameron, a particularly windy area in the south of Texas.
Earlier this year, IKEA announced the purchase of its first wind farm in the US in Hoopeston, Illinois. With the new addition, the two plants are expected to generate nearly 1,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity per year – as much as the average annual electricity consumption of around 90,000 American households. Globally, the group is building 279 wind turbines in nine different countries.
So far, IKEA has generated 1,425 gigawatt-hours of power from renewable sources, also thanks to the 165,000 solar panels installed on 90% of IKEA buildings across the US.
In addition, the group has invested in geothermal integrated into the heating and cooling systems of its two stores in Colorado and Kansas.
“IKEA believes that the climate challenge requires bold commitment and action,” says Rob Olson, IKEA US Acting President and CFO. “We invest in renewable energy to become more sustainable as a business and also because it makes good business sense”.
Today, also Google has announced it will power its new Dutch data center through a 62-megawatt wind energy project, with 18 turbines both onshore and off the coast in the North Sea.
RE100: TOP COMPANIES COMMIT TO 100% RENEWABLE POWER BY 2020
IKEA is also part of The Climate Group’s project RE100, launched last September at Climate Week NYC 2014 in partnership with CDP. The project illustrates the economic and environmental benefits of using 100% of renewable energy for business operations by 2020. Along with non-governmental organizations and clean experts, the campaign is supported by leading companies such as IKEA, Swiss Re, BT, Commerzbank, Formula E, H&M,KPN, Mars, Nestlé, Philips, Reed Elesvier, J. Safra Sarasin and Yoox – with many others to come.
“Investing in renewable power makes complete business sense. It aligns with our corporate expectations on financial returns and our values,” said Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA Group. Businesses need a stable, cheap and secure access to energy supplies – and only clean energy can deliver it in the long term.
Ben Ferrari, Director of Corporate Partnerships, The Climate Group, added: “IKEA’s planned wind farm is another sign the world’s leading players understand that investing in clean technologies is a smart business move that will bring benefits that go far beyond their bottom lines. And IKEA is one of those companies that has long seen this cleaner future coming, always innovating and investing in low carbon growth way before anyone else. We applaud IKEA’s vision and action as a true leader of the clean revolution, as well as the other companies who are going 100% renewable as part of our RE100 project. It really is an incredible time for renewable power.”
Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group, said: “IKEA was one of the first major companies to recognize thattackling climate change makes good business sense. IKEA has set commendable renewable energy targets for its own company, and its actions are positively influencing business practices and the energy market. It has played an instrumental role in setting up RE100, The Climate Group’s global initiative to support businesses in switching to 100% renewable power.”