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Ecology building Society

Retail giant aims to be energy self sufficient
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A furniture retailer's plans to become fully energy independent have taken another step forward as the company yesterday agreed to purchase the 7.65MW Carrickeeny Wind Farm in Ireland from developer Mainstream Renewable Power.
Retail giant aims to be energy self sufficient

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed, but the energy company confirmed it planned to complete the wind farm by early next year, at which point retailer IKEA will take ownership of the plant. Mainstream said it will continue to operate the facility on IKEA's behalf for its full 20-year lifespan, while the energy will effectively be provided to the company.

The deal represents the latest step in the furniture giant's plan to invest 1.5bn in wind and energy capacity through to 2015 as it aims to make good on its pledge to source all the energy it requires from renewable sources by 2020. The latest acquisition takes the number of wind turbines owned by the company globally to 137, complementing a network of rooftop solar arrays that have been installed on many of its stores.

Joanna Yarrow, head of sustainability in the UK and Ireland, said the company's renewable energy investments were helping to both reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and provide it with stable energy costs.

"Companies, individuals or governments we all have responsibility to address the resource dilemma and commit to a more sustainable future," she added in a statement. "Producing our own, affordable, renewable electricity gets us one step closer to becoming completely energy independent by 2020, while ensuring our commercial success."

Mainstream Renewable Power's chief executive Eddie O'Connor said the deal was part of a growing trend that was likely to see more corporations purchase renewable energy assets directly from developers.

"We are being approached by a growing number of energy-intensive corporations in the retail, IT and mining sectors that want to invest in our large portfolio of wind and solar plant being developed across four continents," he revealed. "Owning wind and solar plant makes a lot of sense for them on a number of levels.

"As the cost of the fuel is free the more of it they have the more stability and certainty they have in relation to their energy costs in the long term. On top of that, the more forward-thinking corporations are investing in wind and solar energy as part of their sustainability strategy, and IKEA is a fantastic example of this."

Credits:: James Murray - Business Green

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