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IKEA Invests in Wind Power Project

Sweden's IKEA, famous for its easy-to-assemble furniture products, now plans to build its own dedicated wind power facility.

Under its long-term plan to heat, cool and power all its buildings using 100 percent renewable energy, the Swedish home furnishings giant will invest an undisclosed amount in the construction of its own wind farm to power 17 stores in Sweden.

The nine-turbine onshore wind farm will be built in Dalarna, in central Sweden, by Stockholm-based wind developer O2 Vind. The facility is expected to go online in early 2012.

In Sweden, 98 percent of IKEA’s buildings are already heated and powered using renewable energy. With its decision to build its own wind farm, the company sees further benefits.

“We get a long-term source of renewable energy for our business,” said Peter Agnefjall, EO of IKEA Svenska Foersaeljings, adding that the company also hopes to generate revenue be selling additional capacity.

IKEA is no newcomer to the wind power business. In 2009, the company purchased three French wind farms from Volkswind and acquired six more a year later in Germany from Gamesa. Together, farms have a capacity of more than 90 MW.

Altogether, it currently owns 52 wind turbines, generating enough energy to cover about 10 of the group’s electricity needs, a spokeswoman said, declining to comment on investment costs.

Other large companies, such as Wal-Mart and Google, are also investing in wind energy and for reasons similar to IKEA's.

“While we are happy to be purchasing renewable energy as part of our environmental commitment, this is also a structure that makes long term financial sense for Google,” Google said in an earlier statement. “Through the long term purchase of renewable energy at a predetermined price, we’re partially protecting ourselves against future increases in power prices. This is a case where buying green makes business sense.”

In addition to wind power, IKEA has been installing solar panels in stores around the world, including, Belgium, Germany and the United States.

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