Ikea buys its first US wind farm

Sweden-based furniture retailer Ikea has bought an under-construction wind farm in Illinois, the first United States wind farm for the company.

The Hoopeston, Ill., facility will have a 98 megawatt capacity when it opens in early 2015, making it the largest renewable energy project Ikea owns worldwide. It will generate enough electricity to power 34,000 U.S. homes.

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“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,” Rob Olson, chief financial officer of Ikea’s U.S. operations, said in a Thursday statement.

“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,” Olson said.

Ikea has committed to generating the same amount of renewable energy as it consumers by 2020, it said. In 2013 it generated 1,425 gigawatt hours, accounting for 37 percent of its electricity needs.

The Hoopeston project is being built by Apex Clean Energy, who will also manage it on Ikea’s behalf. It will have 49 wind turbines on a site about 110 miles south of Chicago.