IKEA US announced last week that it is making its first wind farm investment in the United States with the purchase of Hoopeston Wind in Hoopeston, Illinois.
The 98 megawatt wind farm is the largest single IKEA Group renewable energy investment globally to date and will make a significant contribution to the company’s goal to generate as much renewable energy as the total energy it consumes by 2020.
The project is currently being constructed by Apex Clean Energy and is expected to be fully operational by the first half of 2015.
Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer, 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."
The announcement was made by Rob Olson, Chief Financial Officer of IKEA US, at a business executive briefing by Climate Declaration signatories for members of the Bi-Cameral Task Force on Climate Change focusing on climate-related business impacts, strategies companies are using to lower their carbon footprints, and the policies needed to mitigate climate change and boost clean energy sources. Mr. Olson said:
“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 Olson. “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 wind farm purchase is also indicative of the IKEA commitment to growth in the United States.
The Hoopeston Wind project will install 49 Vestas V100-2.0 MW wind turbines near Hoopeston in Vermilion County, Illinois, approximately 110 miles south of Chicago. Hoopeston Wind is expected to generate up to 380 GWh of renewable energy each year.
Hoopeston Wind will be fully owned by the IKEA Group and managed by US-based wind and solar developer Apex Clean Energy. Apex President Mark Goodwin said:
“Wind energy has been the fastest growing source of new energy generation in the US, and the potential is only beginning to be tapped. This project with IKEA US is an opportunity for Apex to work with a new type of investor and partner to expand wind energy development in this country.”
Hoopeston Wind is the most recent in a series of renewable energy investments by the IKEA Group, which has now committed to own 206 wind turbines worldwide. This includes investments in wind farms in eight other countries to date: Canada, where it is now the largest retail wind energy investor; Denmark; France; Germany; Ireland; Poland; Sweden; and the United Kingdom.
In 2013, the IKEA Group produced 1,425 GWh of energy from renewable sources, including wind and solar, equivalent to 37% of the company’s total energy needs.
Apex Clean Energy is an independent renewable energy company based in Charlottesville, VA. The company has a diversified portfolio of wind energy facilities in development around the country and owns several operating solar PV assets.