IKEA to Grow Company?s U.S. Solar Power Presence to 75%

IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, announced plans to install solar energy panels on ten additional United States locations – its entire presence in the Southern U.S. Pending governmental permits, installation can begin this winter, with completion expected in Summer 2012. Collectively, the nine stores and one distribution center will total 10.7 Megawatts (MW) of solar generating capacity, nearly 45,360 panels, and a projected annual electricity output of 15,248,334 kilowatt hours (kWh).

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) – now including its three Texas stores (Frisco, Houston and Round Rock), three Florida stores (Orlando, Sunrise and Tampa), three other stores (Atlanta and Charlotte, and in Woodbridge, VA), and the IKEA Distribution Center in Savannah, GA as listed below with approximate system statistics and corresponding clean energy equivalents (based on calculations from www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html).

Atlanta, GA – opened in 2005; store size: 366,000 SF on 15 acres

SOLAR PROGRAM: 129,800 SF at 1,038 kW; 4,326 panels generating 1,421,300 kWh/year

Equivalent to reducing 1,080 tons of CO2, 192 cars’ emissions or powering 122 homes

Charlotte, NC – opened in 2009; store size: 356,000 SF on 25 acres

SOLAR PROGRAM: 126,500 SF at 1,011 kW; 4,214 panels generating 1,330,000 kWh/year

Equivalent to reducing 1,011 tons of CO2, 180 cars’ emissions or powering 114 homes

Frisco, TX – opened in 2005; store size: 310,000 SF on 28 acres

SOLAR PROGRAM: 114,000 SF at 912 kW; 3,879 panels generating 1,336,300 kWh/year

Equivalent to reducing 1,016 tons of CO2, 181 cars’ emissions or powering 115 homes

Houston, TX – opened: 1992; new store built: 2004; size: 300,000 SF on 15.6 acres

SOLAR PROGRAM: 116,400 SF at 931 kW; 3,962 panels generating 1,317,500 kWh/year

Equivalent to reducing 1,001 tons of CO2, 178 cars’ emissions or powering 113 homes

Orlando, FL – opened in 2007; size: 309,000 SF on 22 acres

SOLAR PROGRAM: 120,900 SF at 967 kW; 4,115 panels generating 1,421,500 kWh/year

Equivalent to reducing 1,080 tons of CO2, 192 cars’ emissions or powering 122 homes

Round Rock, TX – opened in 2006; store size: expanding to 306,000 SF on 22 acres

SOLAR PROGRAM: 203,700 SF at 1,629 kW; 6,932 panels generating 2,398,000 kWh/year

Equivalent to reducing 1,822 tons of CO2, 324 cars’ emissions or powering 206 homes

Sunrise, FL – opened in 2007; size: 293,000 SF on 20 acres

SOLAR PROGRAM: 132,100 SF at 1,056 kW; 4,494 panels generating 1,554,600 kWh/year

Equivalent to reducing 1,181 tons of CO2, 210 cars’ emissions or powering 134 homes

Tampa, FL – opened in 2009; store size: 353,000 SF on 29 acres

SOLAR PROGRAM: 148,700 SF at 1,189 kW; 5,061 panels generating 1,792,300 kWh/year

Equivalent to reducing 1,362 tons of CO2, 242 cars’ emissions or powering 154 homes

Woodbridge, VA – opened in 2001; 325,000 SF on 11.5 acres

SOLAR PROGRAM: 63,900 SF at 511 kW; 2,128 panels generating 644,500 kWh/year

Equivalent to reducing 490 tons of CO2, 87 cars’ emissions or powering 55 homes

Savannah, GA Distribution Center – opened in 2007; size: 750,000 SF on 115 acres

SOLAR PROGRAM: 187,500 SF at 1,500 kW; 6,250 panels generating 2,029,500 kWh/year

Equivalent to reducing 1,542 tons of CO2, 274 cars’ emissions or powering 175 homes

IKEA already has 12 U.S. solar energy systems operational with 11 more underway. Adding solar to ten more locations increases the company’s solar presence to 75% of its U.S. locations and a total solar generating capacity of approximately 26.8 MW. “IKEA believes we can be a good business while doing good business,” said Mike Ward, IKEA U.S. president. “This investment extends our solar presence to the Southern U.S., further reducing our carbon footprint and the intensity of the electrical grid.”

IKEA, drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, reflects a business and operating model designed to minimize impacts on the environment. Globally, IKEA evaluates locations 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, such as energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas, and water conserving restrooms; and operationally, eliminating plastic bags from the check-out process, phasing out the sale of incandescent light bulbs and facilitating recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs. Also, IKEA is installing electric vehicle charging stations at nine stores in the Western U.S.

For the six Florida and Texas stores, IKEA contracted with REC Solar, one of the largest U.S. solar electric providers, with more than 7,000 systems built nationwide. For the four other locations, IKEA contracted with Gehrlicher Solar America Corp., part of Gehrlicher AG, one of the world’s ten largest independent PV project developers and system integrators. Both contracted companies already are implementing other solar PV programs for IKEA too.

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 330 IKEA stores in 40 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.