IKEA to only use renewable electricity generated by its own wind turbines in Sweden

As a step towards using only energy from renewable sources in its global operations, IKEA Group is investing in a new wind farm with 30 wind turbines on Glötesvålen, a mountain in Härjedalen, Sweden. This is one of the largest investments to date in a wind power project in the Nordic countries and one of the largest land-based wind power project that work has started on so far in Europe during 2012.

The IKEA Group currently has around the world 96 wind turbines in operation or under construction, including nine in Sweden. This new investment will bring the total number of wind turbines owned by IKEA in Sweden to 39. The new Glötesvålen wind farm is estimated to produce a total of 220 GWh (90MW) a year, equivalent to the annual electricity needs of approximately 48,000 homes. Construction will start this summer and the wind farm is expected to be operational by the end of 2014/beginning of 2015.

“At IKEA, we want to take a leading role in the transition to a low-carbon society by only using 100 percent renewable energy in our global operations. By only using wind power in Sweden, it is an exciting and important step toward reaching that goal. We will not only be self-sufficient in electricity in Sweden, generating enough to supply all IKEA buildings and operations in the country, but it will give us opportunities to supply IKEA stores in other countries with wind power,” says Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA Group.

The IKEA Group has earmarked 590 million euros to invest in renewable energy, including this current wind power project and other investments that are planned over the next three years.

An agreement has been signed with the O2 wind power company to develop, construct and manage the Glötesvålen wind farm.

“This is the second time we have done business with IKEA in the course of the past 18 months, and it is the result of some very good and very close cooperation,” says Johan Ihrfelt, O2’s managing director. “Through its investment in Glötesvålen IKEA has chosen to participate in one of the Nordic countries’ most promising wind power projects in terms of the reliability of the meteorological conditions.”

Glötesvålen Wind Farm – facts & figures
Wind farm with 30 wind turbines situated on Glötesvålen approx. 40 kilometres north-west of Sveg in the south-western corner of Härjedalen in west-central Sweden.

This is one of the best locations for wind in the whole of Sweden, with a highest point 1,010 metres above sea level. The wind has been measured here over a period of more than 10 years. The yearly mean wind speed of 8.1 metres per second is extremely good, and in the cold winter months this increases to more than 9 metres per second. Glötesvålen has been approved in the local municipality’s outline plan and selected by the Swedish Energy Agency as an area of national interest for wind farming.

It is estimated that the wind farm will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 176,000 tonnes. (Calculated using methods advocated and approved by the Swedish Energy Agency.)

O2 plans, constructs, operates and sells wind power plants throughout Sweden and is a leading name in land-based wind power production. O2 has twenty years’ experience of the industry and is behind a significant percentage of Sweden’s wind power facilities. The company also runs Sweden’s largest wind power cooperative. O2 has approximately 50 employees in offices in Mörbylånga, Stockholm, Frösön, Mora and Kiruna.

The IKEA vision is “to create a better everyday for the many people.” IKEA offers a range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at low prices. IKEA integrates sustainability work into its day-to-day operations and continually supports social initiatives. IKEA was founded in 1943 and today has 17 stores in Sweden that welcome 34 million visitors a year. Worldwide, the IKEA Group has 294 stores in 26 countries that are visited by 655 million people a year.