Ikea buys 98MW Illinois wind farm

Ikea is buying a 98MW, Vestas-equipped wind farm in the US state of Illinois – the biggest global renewables investment yet by the Swedish home furnishing giant.

The acquisition of the Hoopeston Wind project also marks Ikea’s first US wind investment.

The wind farm is being built by developer Apex Clean Energy, which will run the plant for Ikea after it begins operations, expected by the first half of 2015.

The plant will use 49 Vestas V100-2.0 MW wind turbines near Hoopeston in Vermilion County, about 180km south of Chicago.

Vestas announced the supply deal at the end of March, without disclosing the customer. It includes a 15-year service agreement.

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.”

Ikea said the addition of Hoopeston will bring its global turbine ownership to more than 200.

The flat-pack furnishing specialist is expanding its US store network.

It already claims to be the biggest retail wind investor in Canada, and has bought into wind projects in seven European countries – as well as making big PV deployments at its global store network.

Ikea said in 2013 it produced 1.425TWh of energy from renewable sources, equivalent to 37% of its total requirements.