IKEA makes its biggest clean energy investment ever, a 98MW wind farm 110 miles south of Chicago

CC BY-SA 2.0 trailerfullofpix

Clean energy is our future. It has to be. But getting there requires bit changes, and those required a lot of dough to be invested. Governments can certainly help a lot - one of the best thing they could do is remove subsidies, direct and indirect, for fossil fuels - but they can't do it all. Who else has a lot of cash to invest? Big corporations, of course! They use a lot of energy to power their various activities, so why not do their part and invest in the sources of power of tomorrow?

IKEA has just taken a step in that direction. They've announced the purchase of a wind farm about 110 mile south of Chicago in Hoopestown, Illinois.

Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer for IKEA had this to say on the deal: “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 also has a message for other companies: Investments in clean energy make financial sense. They also act as a hedge against volatile energy costs, something that can be especially valuable during turbulent times.

Hoopestown, Illinois mapApple Maps/Screen capture

The Hoopestown project is still under construction. It will be feature 49 two-megawatt Vestas turbines, for a total capacity of 98 megawatts, and should be complete by the first half of 2015.

It is expected to generate up to 380,000 megawatt-hours of clean energy yearly. That's equivalent to 165% of the electricity consumed by IKEA U.S. (that's 38 stores, 5 distribution centers, 2 service centers, and 1 factory), or 18% of the electricity used by the IKEA as a whole worldwide. Definitely not just a drop in the bucket for them... And it brings the total amount of cash allocated to this energy effort to about $2 billion.

IKEA has set a goal of producing as much energy as it consumes by 2020.

Via Forbes

IKEA makes its biggest clean energy investment ever, a 98MW wind farm 110 miles south of Chicago
If clean energy is our future, and it has to be, more big corporations with pockets full of cash need to make forward-looking investments like this.

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