DUBLIN - IKEA, the world's largest furniture manufacturer and retailer, will acquire a 7.65 megawatt wind farm, now under construction in Leitrim, in the North West of Ireland.
Expected to be operational in early 2014, at which point IKEA will purchase the plant, the wind farm's builder Mainstream Renewable Power says it will operate and maintain the wind farm on behalf of IKEA for its 20-year lifespan.
The IKEA Group says it plans to invest £1.5 billion ($2.3 billion) in wind energy and solar programs up to 2015 as part of its sustainability strategy to generate as much renewable energy as it consumes by 2020.
Around the U.S. IKEA has been outfitting retail sites with solar power panels.
This latest acquisition will increase the total number of wind turbines that the IKEA Group has committed to owning and operating to 137.
Mainstream Renewable Power's CEO Eddie O'Connor says his company has received similar investment proposals from other businesses. Manufacturing firms use renewable energy to offset power consumption from production plants.
"Our investments in renewable energy not only help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from our operations in Ireland, but also, together with our energy efficiency efforts, help to control our electricity costs so we can pass any benefits to our customers," says Joanna Yarrow, Head of Sustainability at IKEA UK and Ireland. "Producing our own affordable, renewable electricity gets us one step closer to becoming completely energy independent by 2020."
Mainstream Renewable Power says it has a development pipeline of over 19GW globally, and it is currently constructing solar and wind farms across Ireland, South Africa, Chile and Canada.
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