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Office furniture company Steelcase Inc. has announced a long-term financial commitment to a Texas wind farm, including the purchase of all the green power produced by the farm for at least the first five years of its operation. Renewable Choice Energy, a renewable energy and carbon offset provider, led the transaction and serves as the exclusive marketer for the project.

The 10 MW wind farm, developed by a local landowner and John Deere Renewables, the wind-energy development unit of Deere & Co., will begin operations on or about May 1.

According to the company, the power expected to be generated by the wind farm on an annual basis also represents approximately 20% of the power Steelcase facilities require in the U.S., and equals more than three times the energy necessary to fully power the Steelcase global headquarters building in Grand Rapids, Mich., for a year. With this commitment, Steelcase joins the Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Leadership group.

The wind farm will be named the Wege Wind Energy Farm in honor of Peter Wege, a Michigan environmentalist, Steelcase founding family member and former board member.

"Our commitment to the Wege Wind Energy Farm is a complement to our ongoing efforts to reduce our own energy consumption, with the goal of reducing our carbon footprint by 25 percent by 2012," says Nancy Hickey, Steelcase's senior vice present and chief administrative officer.


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