IKEA, the world’s most sustainable home furnishings retailer, today announced the installing of solar panels is complete atop its St. Louis store opening September 30, 2015. Once the other components are mounted, connected and operational, the project will be the largest rooftop solar installation in the State of Missouri.
The store’s 259,000-square-foot solar array comprises 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).
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.
“Installing the solar panels is another exciting and sustainable step in the progress towards opening the future IKEA St. Louis,” said John Achillea, store manager. “IKEA strives to create a sustainable life for communities where we operate, and IKEA St. Louis can add to this goal with Missouri’s largest rooftop solar array.”
This array represents the 42nd solar project for IKEA in the U.S, contributing to the IKEA solar presence at 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 more than $2 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2020, reinforcing its confidence and investment in solar photovoltaic technology. Consistent with the goal of also being energy independent by 2020, IKEA has installed more than 700,000 solar panels 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 a roll-out planned for more locations.
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 September 30, 2015 in the City’s Midtown Cortex Innovation Community.
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.