Swedish Retailer IKEA to Install Missouri’s Largest Rooftop Solar Array on St. Louis Store Opening Fall 2015

St Louis IKEA
St Louis IKEA. Image courtesy of IKEA.

IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today announced solar energy plans for its St. Louis store opening Fall 2015. Panel installation will begin this Spring, with completion before the store’s opening, making the project the largest rooftop solar array in the State of Missouri. Under construction on 21 acres along Interstate-64 at Vandeventer Avenue, the 380,000 square-foot future IKEA St. Louis, and 1,300 parking spaces, will open Fall 2015 in the City’s Cortex Innovation District. 

The store’s 259,000-square-foot solar array will consist of a 1.28-MW system, built with 4,085 panels, and will produce approximately 1,780,000 kWh of electricity annually for the store, the equivalent to reducing 1,227 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) – equal to the emissions of 258 cars or providing electricity for 169 homes yearly (calculating clean energy equivalents at www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html).

For the development, design and installation of IKEA St. Louis’ customized solar power system, IKEA selected Inovateus Solar LLC, an industry-leading solar power distributor and integrator specializing in large-scale solar installations.

“We are excited about furthering our sustainability commitment with solar panels on the future St. Louis store,” said Rob Olson, IKEA U.S. CFO. “At IKEA, we have a mission to create a better everyday life for the many, and IKEA St. Louis can add to this goal with Missouri’s largest rooftop solar array.”

This installation will represent the 42nd solar project for IKEA in the U.S, contributing to the IKEA solar presence atop nearly 90% of its U.S. locations, with a total generation goal of 40 MW. IKEA owns and operates each of its solar PV energy systems atop its buildings – as opposed to a solar lease or PPA (power purchase agreement) – and globally has allocated $1.8 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2015, reinforcing its confidence and investment in solar photovoltaic technology. Consistent with the goal of being energy independent by 2020, IKEA has installed more than 700,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and owns approximately 157 wind turbines in Europe and Canada, with 104 more being built in the U.S.

IKEA, drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, believes it can be a good business while doing good business and aims to minimize impacts on the environment. Globally, IKEA evaluates locations regularly for conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources, and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution. Specific U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material; incorporating environmental measures into the actual buildings with 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, facilitating recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs, and by 2016 selling only L.E.D. bulbs. IKEA also has installed electric vehicle charging stations at 13 stores, with roll-out planned for more locations.

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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.