Google and Ikea have doubled down on green energy with each unveiling a new wind farm deal in the other’s home region.
Ikea, the Swedish furniture retailer, has taken its biggest plunge in renewable power to date by buying a 55-turbine wind farm in Texas, the leading US state for wind energy production.
The two deals, which were announced separately on Tuesday, are the latest investments by both companies in wind and solar power.
Google has invested more than $1bn in such projects and Ikea has said it will put a total of $1.9bn into wind and solar power by the end of 2015.
Ikea made its first US wind farm purchase earlier this year – a smaller plant in Illinois.
It said it is now committed to own and operate 279 wind turbines in nine countries as part of its effort to produce as much renewable energy as all the energy it uses globally by 2020.
“We invest in renewable energy to become more sustainable as a business and also because it makes good business sense,” said Rob Olson, acting president for Ikea’s US operations.
Renewable energy projects are appealing to companies eager to burnish their environmental reputations – and have the added benefit of financial incentives in many countries.
“Investing in wind farms can be highly lucrative because of the level of public support that is offered,” said Peter Atherton, an energy analyst at Liberum, the UK broker.
A long-term power purchasing agreement such as the one Google has entered into in the north of the Netherlands can also deliver electricity at attractive prices.
This is the third transaction the technology group has done to buy wind farm power in Europe in the past 18 months, and has allowed the company building the wind farm, Eneco, to complete the plant.
Francois Sterin, Google’s director of global infrastructure, said the move makes “great financial sense”.
Technology companies’ power-hungry data centres have made them a target of environmental campaigners who are pushing the industry to move away from the fossil fuels driving climate change.
Neither Ikea nor Google disclosed the value of their latest wind farm deals.