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.
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.