Ikea Buys Scottish Wind Farm

by | Aug 1, 2011

Ikea UK has purchased a wind farm in Scotland and is planning to install 39,000 solar panels on the roofs of its stores, as it strives to get all of its power from renewable sources.

The 12.3 MW wind farm in Huntly, Aberdeenshire, north Scotland, consists of seven turbines, each generating 1.75 MW. The farm can produce 24,700,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. This is equivalent to the electricity consumption of five Ikea stores, or 30 percent of the company’s total electricity consumption in the UK, according to Ikea.

This is the first wind farm purchased by Ikea UK. The acquisition has increased the total number of wind turbines owned by the Ikea Group worldwide to 67.

The company is also investing close to £4 million ($6.5 million) in fitting over 39,000 photovoltaic panels to the rooftops of 10 Ikea stores. This will provide, on average, 5% of each store’s electricity needs.

In total, 31,000m2 of roof space will be covered by solar panels, which will generate around 1,600,000 kWh per year, enough to power 492 homes.

The panels are designed to operate effectively for 25 years. Ikea UK says that the solar panels will reduce its CO2 consumption on average by 662 metric tons per year during this first 25 years of the installations’ operation.

Ikea UK aims for all installation work to be complete by March 2012.

The measures form part of the company’s global Ikea Goes Renewable project — a long-term goal for the furniture retailer to get all its energy from renewable sources. The wind farm and solar panels combined will allow the company to offset on average more than 10,500 tonnes of CO2 per year, Ikea says.

The solar panel initiative follows news that installing energy efficient measures has helped the home furnishings company reduce energy consumption by 19%. Since 2005 the company has opened six new UK stores with only a 10 percent increase in the combined energy use of all their UK stores, Ikea says.

“As part of our global Ikea Goes Renewable program, we are committed to heavily investing in making Ikea buildings more energy efficient and use more renewable energy,” said Steve Howard, chief sustainability officer, Ikea Group. “For example, our most recently built [British Isles]-based stores in Coventry, Southampton, and Dublin have been designed to incorporate measures that will have a major impact on these areas, including geothermal heating and cooling systems, biomass boilers and improved insulation.”

In April, Ikea announced that a 200 kW solar array was operational on the roof of its store in Brooklyn, New York.

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