Swedish retailer Ikea took another big step towards its goal of using 100% renewable energy by purchasing a Scottish wind farm and making plans to install 39,000 solar panels on 10 UK stores.
The company purchased a 12.3 megawatt (MW) windfarm in Huntly, Aberdeenshire, for an undisclosed amount.
The array of seven wind turbines is expected to produce the equivalent of 30% of Ikea's electricity usage in the UK; a company spokesperson says additional wind power purchases could be in the works.
Solar systems on the roofs of 10 UK stores will produce about 5% of the electricity for each store for a cost of about $6.5 million. They should be completed by March 2012.
Ikea now owns 67 wind turbines in Europe with add capacity of 130 MW in Germany, France, Denmark and UK. The company is also building a nine turbine wind farm in Sweden.
Chief Sustainability Officer Steve Howard estimates Ikea will be generating 70%-80% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2015.
Howard says the investment in renewables will help the company address fluctuating energy prices, which cost as much as $1.7 billion a year. Renewables allow for more predictable energy expenditures.