IKEA To Add Solar Energy on Three More Stores

IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today announced plans to install solar energy panels at three more U.S. locations: Draper, UT; New Haven, CT; and Portland, OR. Pending governmental permits, rooftop installation of the nearly 10,000 total panels will begin next year, be completed in Spring 2012, and generate 3,156 MWh of electricity yearly. The plans bring the number of IKEA locations in this country that will have a solar program now to 23, more than half of the company’s U.S. presence.

“This initiative, part of the company’s never-ending list of sustainable activities, will lower the carbon intensity of the electric grid and the U.S. carbon footprint of IKEA.”

This investment by IKEA reinforces the company’s long-term commitment to sustainability and confidence in photovoltaic (PV) technology. IKEA will own and operate each of its solar PV energy systems atop its buildings – as opposed to a solar lease or PPA (power purchase agreement) – as listed below with corresponding clean energy equivalents (based on calculations from www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html).

Draper, UT store – opened in 2007; store size: 310,000 SF on 22.5 acres

SOLAR PROGRAM: 127,000 SF at 1,013 kW; 4,311 panels generating 1,487,080 kWh/year

Equivalent of reducing 1,130 tons of CO2 = 202 cars’ emissions or 124 homes’ electricity

New Haven, CT store – opened in 2004; store size: 311,000 SF on 20 acres

SOLAR PROGRAM: 118,000 SF at 940.8 kW; 3,920 panels generating 1,099,800 kWh/year

Equivalent of reducing 836 tons of CO2 = 149 cars’ emissions or 92 homes’ electricity

Portland, OR store – opened in 2007; store size: 280,000 SF on 19 acres

SOLAR PROGRAM: 62,500 SF at 497.3 kW; 2,072 panels generating 568,900 kWh/year

Equivalent of reducing 432 tons of CO2 = 77 cars’ emissions or 48 homes’ electricity

“We are thrilled that the installation of solar panels at these three stores will continue our rollout of solar energy programs across the country,” said Mike Ward, IKEA U.S. president. “This initiative, part of the company’s never-ending list of sustainable activities, will lower the carbon intensity of the electric grid and the U.S. carbon footprint of IKEA.”

IKEA, drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, believes it can be a good business while doing good business and aims for its operations to minimize impacts on the environment. Globally, IKEA evaluates all locations regularly for energy conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works with Global Forest Watch to maintain sustainable resources, and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution. Specific U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material (paper, wood, plastic, etc.); incorporating environmental measures into the construction of buildings in terms of energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas, and water conserving restrooms; and operationally, phasing out the sale of incandescent light bulbs and facilitating recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs. Also, nine western U.S. IKEA stores have recently installed electric vehicle charging stations.

For the Draper and Portland projects, IKEA contracted with REC Solar, one of the largest U.S. solar electric installers with more than 7,000 systems built nationwide. Gehrlicher Solar USA, part of Gehrlicher AG, one of the world’s ten largest independent PV project developers and system integrators, was awarded the contract for IKEA New Haven.

IKEA strives to be ‘The Life Improvement Store,’ and since its 1943 founding in Sweden, has offered home furnishings of good design and function, at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 320 IKEA stores in 39 countries, including 38 in the U.S. IKEA incorporates sustainable efforts into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment.