ENERGY/HVAC

Ikea becomes largest retail wind energy investor in Canada

BY Marianne Wilson

Burlington, Ontario — Ikea Canada announced it has purchased a 46 megawatt wind farm in Pincher Creek, Alberta. The 20-turbine wind farm will be the largest owned by a Canadian retailer and is expected to generate 161 gigawatt hours (GWh) each year, which is more than double the total energy consumption of Ikea Canada. The project is currently being constructed by global wind and solar company Mainstream Renewable Power and is expected to be fully operational in fall 2014.

"Ikea Canada’s investment in renewable energy is a win-win-win. We are able to support the transition to a low-carbon future, reduce our energy and operating costs, and pass those benefits on to our customers by continuing to offer high quality home furnishings at low prices," says Kerri Molinaro, president of Ikea Canada. "This wind farm in Alberta, along with existing solar installations at three of our Ontario stores, is a significant step to achieving Ikea’s global ambition to be energy independent by 2020, producing more renewable energy than we consume."

The wind farm’s expected annual production of 161 GWh is equivalent to:

  • Thirty-two Ikea stores’ electricity consumption;
  • Sixty percent of Ikea Group electricity consumption in North America;
  • Eight percent of Ikea Group electricity consumption worldwide; and
  • 13,500 average Canadian households’ electricity consumption.

The 20 turbines to be erected are Siemens’ model SWT-2.3-101, 2.3 MW turbines with a rotor diameter of 101 meters, a hub height of 80 meters and blade length of 49 meters. While the wind farm will be owned fully by Ikea Canada it has been developed, is being constructed, and will be operated by Mainstream Renewable Power. The turbines will be located in the municipality of Pincher Creek, approximately 215 KMs south of Calgary. The power generated will be delivered onto Alberta’s energy grid, thereby increasing the availability of renewable energy to a growing energy market.

The Ikea Group has now committed to own 157 wind turbines worldwide and has installed over 500,000 solar panels on its buildings in nine countries. To date, the company has invested in wind farms in seven other markets: Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France, Poland, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.

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OPERATIONS

Gordon Brothers names co-presidents of its retail division

BY Marianne Wilson

Boston — Gordon Brothers Group, a global advisory, restructuring and investment firm specializing in the retail, consumer products, industrial and real estate sectors announced that Robert E. Grosskopf and Richard P. Edwards have been appointed co-presidents of the retail division. They will jointly assume responsibility for the division’s growth strategy while overseeing all client engagements and daily operations.

Kevin J. Kulinowski, having served as president of the retail division for the past three and a half years will assume the position of senior Advisor where he will continue to play a critical role in maximizing asset values, project strategy, due diligence, appraisal valuations and working with key clients.

"Given Bob and Rick’s combined 40 years at Gordon Brothers and strong relationships in the industry, this transition will be seamless and position the Retail Division extremely well for the future," stated Ken Frieze, president of Gordon Brothers Group. "Rick, Bob and Kevin have spent many years working together to guide the retail division. While their roles are changing, their continued partnership promises to maintain the Retail Division as the market leader for event-driven inventory and fixture solutions for retailers, their lenders and advisors," he added.

Gordon Brothers Group also announced the hiring of Andrew H. Stone as managing director of field operations in the Retail Division. Stone brings over 25 years of retail experience to Gordon Brothers Group having held previous senior management positions at Office Depot.

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News

CrowdSource acquires Servio

BY Staff Writer

Swansea, Ill. — CrowdSource, a leading provider of managed crowdsourcing solutions, announced it has entered a definitive agreement to acquire San Francisco-based Servio, a competitor in the enterprise crowdsourcing industry. The acquisition will strengthen CrowdSource’s client portfolio, expand its workforce and augment its current service offerings.

Crowdsourcing is the business practice of outsourcing projects to an online community of workers with specialized skills. CrowdSource meets large-scale content creation and content moderation needs of online retailers and online publishers, and it also offers solutions in data gathering and data management.

While Servio and CrowdSource offer similar solutions, Servio emphasized catering its solutions to large online retailers. This acquisition will allow CrowdSource to expand its capabilities and provide more complete solutions for online retailers.

This pairing is a step toward consolidating the crowdsourcing industry, which is expected to grow by 90% in 2013. More than 2,000 enterprise companies world-wide have adopted crowdsourcing as part of their labor mix.

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