Ikea announced the purchase of a 98-megawatt wind farm—its first—in the United States yesterday. That's 380 gigawatt hours of renewable energy a year, enough to produce 165 percent of the electricity consumed by Ikea U.S. The 49-turbine farm in Hoopeston, Illinois, is Ikea's single largest renewable investment and is expected to start spinning by 2015.
Ikea's goal is to produce as much energy as it consumes by 2020. Ikea became the largest retail investor of wind energy in Canada this past November, and it already cranks out 220 gigawatt hours a year back home in Sweden.
Doing it themselves just makes sense to chief sustainability officer Steve Howard. "We own most of our stores, our factories, and the land they are built on," Howard told Forbes. "We have the capital, so why would we rent? It's the same with energy—if we can own our own energy production, why would we not want to do it?"