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IKEA to invest in Leitrim wind farm to power Irish stores

The new facility in Carrickeeny will have the capacity to generate the equivalent electricity for approximately 5,500 houses a year.

IKEA’S IRISH STORES are to be powered by renewable energy after the retailer announced plans to invest in a new wind farm in Leitrim.

The new facility in Carrickeeny will have the capacity to generate the equivalent electricity for approximately 5,500 houses a year and is slated to be completed in 2014.

The construction of the facility has already begun by wind and solar power company Mainstream Renewable Power with Irish corporate energy supply company Vayu to supply electricity to the IKEA ’s Dublin and Belfast stores under a 15 year contract.

The IKEA group says it plans to produce as much renewable energy as it consumes by 2020 and has set aside €1.5 billion for investments in renewable energy up to 2015. The Leitrim farm will increase the total number of wind turbines that the IKEA Group has committed to own and operate to 137.

IKEA’S head of sustainability in the UK and Ireland Joanna Yarrow said upon making the announcement today that the plans could also ultimately lead to lower prices in IKEA stores:

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.

Mainstream Renewable Power  says the wind farm will consist of four turbines. Chief Executive Eddie O’Connor, who previously founded and sold Airtricity, says that IKEA’s plans, they first of their kind in Ireland are beneficial for several reasons:

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.

Read: Anti-wind farms protest takes place in Mullingar >

Read: 90% of construction industry insiders believe wind should be primary energy source >

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Rónán Duffy

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