Steelcase, Inc., is participating with John Deere Renewables, LLC, to secure the naming rights to a single, commercial-scale wind farm in the United States.



Steelcase will purchase all of the renewable energy certificates from a 10 megawatt wind generation facility for the next five years. Renewable Choice Energy, a renewable energy and carbon offset provider, led the transaction and serves as the exclusive marketer for the project.



The facility has been developed and financed by John Deere Renewables, along with a local land owner and rancher. Located north of Amarillo, in Panhandle, Texas, the project will be called the Wege Wind Energy Farm, provided by Steelcase, in honor of Michigan environmentalist Peter Wege. Wege is the son of Steelcase founder and retired vice-chairman of the Steelcase board of directors.



John Deere Renewables worked closely with Renewable Choice Energy to develop the pioneering "New Growth Wind" transaction. Renewable Choice's model allows corporate renewable energy and carbon buyers to be associated with specific wind projects and participate in their financing without the complexities and risks of project ownership.



"Nearly a hundred years ago we made the promise to act as stewards of the environment. And, we are constantly seeking more effective ways to conserve resources, prevent pollution and nurture environmental consciousness in our people every day," says Nancy Hickey, senior vice president and chief administrative officer, Steelcase, Inc. "Our commitment to the Wege Wind Energy Farm is one expression of our on-going efforts to reduce our own energy consumption, with the goal of reducing our carbon footprint by 25 percent by 2012. Steelcase is proud to make the project a reality in what we hope will inspire more companies to invest in green power both nationally and internationally."



"We're pleased to help pioneer this new model, which provides more financial stability and greater incentives for project development by getting long-term REC purchase commitments in place during the financing stage," said Dave Drescher, vice president of John Deere Renewables. "We're confident that transactions like this will help develop smaller scale wind projects, supporting rural communities and getting more clean wind energy onto the grid faster."



Ted Rose, vice president of development for Renewable Choice Energy, adds, "This up-front commitment by Steelcase represents a powerful model in the industry that can help reduce risks for developers, shorten development cycles and can help to get more wind power online."



The Wege Wind Energy Farm generation represents 20 percent of Steelcase's U.S. electricity needs. It will be operational this spring and consists of eight Suzlon S-64 turbines expected to generate 35,000,000 kWh of electricity each year, enough to power 2,925 homes.