Ikea Acquires Canadian Wind Farm On the Quest Toward Energy Independence
Ikea is a trailblazer when it comes to investing in solar and wind power projects — and spent big on renewables even before they became cost-competitive with fossil fuels.
Already claiming to be the largest retail wind power investor in Canada, Ikea boosted its clean-energy credentials by purchasing its second wind farm in the province of Alberta.
Last week, the global furniture and housewares giant bought up an 88-megawatt wind power installation 80 miles east of Calgary. The Wintering Hills Wind Farm, which has been in operation since 2012, has 55 turbines spread across 24 square miles of Alberta prairies. Ikea claims the power Wintering Hills generates is enough to electrify 54 of its stores, or almost 26,000 Canadian households.
Ikea did not disclose details about this financial transaction. But according to the CBC, the wind farm’s current owners, TransAlta and Teck Resources, will receive $91 million (or CAD $119.6 million) from Ikea.
The purchase of Wintering Hills is yet another step in Ikea’s move to become entirely energy independent by 2020.
The company says it spent at least $3.2 billion in its quest to become entirely energy- and resource-efficient, with two-thirds of that sum spent on clean-energy projects worldwide.
The privately-owned company is cagey when it comes to releasing precise statistics and financial information. But its latest investment in Canada should help the company achieve its publicly-stated goal of producing more energy than it consumes by 2020.
In addition, Ikea is spending another $1.1 billion (1 billion euros) on a more sustainable supply chain, which includes investments in forestry, the development of alternative materials, recycling and more clean-energy development.
Meanwhile, actions taken within stores indicate the company is walking the walk. For example, the retailer phased out CFL bulbs last fall and now sells only LED lighting. As for its popular food stores that tempt customers after they check out, Ikea has also promised to purchase more responsibly-sourced palm oil. And when it comes to its popular and cheaply-priced textiles, the company invests in startups that aim to reduce their environmental impact.