Ikea is beginning to act almost Google-like in its far-reaching pursuit of sustainability. The worldwide home-furnishing retailer, already big on rooftop solar, has now bought itself a wind-power plant in northern Scotland as part of its “Ikea Goes Renewable” initiative.
Ikea U.K.’s newly purchased 12.3-megawatt (MW) capacity wind-power producer is in Huntly, Aberdeenshire. The plant consists of seven wind turbines, each rated at 1.75 MW. Annual production is pegged at 24.7 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity, the equivalent to the electricity consumption of five Ikea stores, or 30 percent of the company’s total electricity consumption in the United Kingdom.
Ikea is also investing close to £4 million in fitting over 39,000 photovoltaic solar panels to the rooftops of 10 Ikea stores in the U.K. The panels will provide, on average, 5 percent of each store’s electricity needs, or almost enough energy to power around half of one of the company’s 18 U.K.-based stores with solar energy alone.
The solar installations are expected to be completed by March 2012. The solar panels will generate around 1,600,000 kWh per year, enough to power 492 homes. Built to operate effectively for 25 years, it is anticipated that the solar panels will reduce Ikea U.K.’s CO2 consumption on average by 662 tons per year during this first 25 years of the installations’ operation.