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IKEA buys Irish wind farm

The furniture retail giant is buying the 7.65MW Carrickeeny Wind Farm from Mainstream Renewable Power.

Mainstream has commenced construction of the project which is located in Leitrim in the North West of Ireland - it is expected to be operational in early 2014 at which point IKEA will purchase the plant. As part of the deal Mainstream will continue to operate and maintain the wind farm on behalf of IKEA for its 20-year lifespan.

The IKEA Group plans to invest £1.5bn in wind energy and solar programmes up to 2015. This acquisition will increase the total number of wind turbines the IKEA Group has committed to owning and operating to 137.

Wind energy is a key part of IKEA Group's sustainability strategy to generate as much renewable energy as it consumes by 2020. "Our investments in renewable energy not only help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from our operations in Ireland, but also, together with our energy efficiency efforts, help to control our electricity costs so we can pass any benefits to our customers by continuing to offer high quality home furnishings at low prices," said Joanna Yarrow, Head of Sustainability IKEA UK and Ireland.

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

Commenting on the deal, Mainstream Renewable Power's Chief Executive Eddie O'Connor said: "Mainstream Renewable Power is delighted to be partnering with IKEA, a true world leader in corporate sustainability. Partnering with corporations who want to own wind and solar plants is a very exciting and growing part of Mainstream's global business. We are being approached by a growing number of energy-intensive corporations in the retail, IT and mining sectors who want to invest in our large portfolio of wind and solar plant being developed across four continents.

He continued: "Owning wind and solar plants 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."

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