Ikea buys Illinois wind farm

Ikea U.S. announced today the purchase of a 98-megawatt wind farm under construction in Hoopeston, close to the Indiana border in central Illinois and about 110 miles south of Chicago.

The facility is under construction by Charlottesville, Va.-based Apex Clean Energy. Ikea said it’s the largest renewable energy investment it has made globally to date as the retail giant seeks to generate as much renewable energy as it consumes by 2020. Apex will run the wind farm on Ikea’s behalf after the acquisition.

The Hoopeston wind farm is expected to be operational in the first half of 2015 and will generate enough electricity to power 34,000 homes.

An Ikea spokeswoman said the company is hunting for more such deals. “Illinois continues to be a priority market,” she wrote in an email.

Ikea owns wind farms in eight other countries: Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Sweden and Britain. It also has installed 550,000 solar panels on Ikea buildings in nine countries, including the U.S., where 90 percent of its stores generate solar power.

“We are committed to renewable energy and to running our business in a way that minimizes our carbon emissions, not only because of the environmental impact but also because it makes good financial sense,” Ikea U.S. Chief Financial Officer Rob Olson said in a release.