The world’s largest furniture retailer, IKEA, has announced plans to buy a wind farm in Ireland to power its stores in Belfast and Dublin. The retailer has said that four turbines in Carrickeeny in northwest Leitrim will begin operation next year.

These turbines will produce 25GWh of electricity, enough energy to power 5,500 houses a year. Joanna Yarrow, non-executive director of the Beyond the Green Group and Head of Sustainability for IKEA UK, has said that the move would help cut costs as well as reduce the company's carbon footprint.

RTE reports on the new wind farm acquisition: "Companies, individuals or governments - we all have responsibility to address the resource dilemma and commit to a more sustainable future," says Yarrow.

The company announced last year its plan to be 100% clean energy-fuelled by 2020. Yarrow remarks that this plan of "producing our own affordable, renewable electricity gets us one step closer to becoming completely energy-independent by 2020, while ensuring our commercial success."

The wind farms in Leitrim, some of the first to be corporate-owned energy farms, will power the stores for the next two decades. The electricity generated by the turbines will be sold to energy supplier Vayu, who are under contract to power the Dublin and Belfast locations for the next 15 years.

IKEA currently owns over 100 wind farms in the UK, Germany, France, Poland, Denmark, and Sweden.