IKEA to Increase Investment in Fuel Cell Systems

IKEA fuel cell system
KEA is furthering its renewable commitment with plans for biogas-powered fuel cell systems at four more of its California stores. (Photo: Business Wire)

IKEA announced it is furthering its renewable commitment with plans for biogas-powered fuel cell systems at four more of its California stores. A year ago, IKEA completed installation of such a project at IKEA Emeryville, one of the Swedish company’s two San Francisco-area stores. IKEA now plans to expand its fuel cell portfolio to 1.3 MW with a system at its other San Francisco-area store (in East Palo Alto), as well as three stores in Southern California (Costa Mesa, Covina and San Diego). Pending permits, the fuel cells will be installed, commissioned and operational by this Fall, 2016, complementing solar arrays already atop each of the four stores.

“Based on the success of the system installed last year in Emeryville, we are excited about further increasing our renewable portfolio with four more fuel cell projects,” explained IKEA U.S. president Lars Petersson. “Fuel cells represent another way we can contribute to our goal of generating renewable energy equal to the amount of power we consume worldwide.”

For the design, development and installation of these planned fuel cell systems, IKEA contracted with Sunnyvale-based Bloom Energy a provider of breakthrough solid oxide fuel cell technology generating clean, highly-efficient on-site power.

  • Costa Mesa store – opened in 2003; store size: 308,000 SF on 24 acres
    FUEL CELL PROGRAM: 300 kW generating 2,497,651 kWh/year
    Equivalent to reducing 1,315 tons of CO2, 278 cars’ emissions or powering 194 homes
  • Covina store – opened in 2003; store size: 325,000 SF on 12.5 acres
    FUEL CELL PROGRAM: 200 kW generating 1,665,101 kWh/year
    Equivalent to reducing 877 tons of CO2, 185 cars’ emissions or powering 130 homes
  • East Palo Alto store – opened in 2003; store size: 290,000 SF on 10.5 acres
    FUEL CELL PROGRAM: 300 kW generating 2,497,651 kWh/year
    Equivalent to reducing 1,315 tons of CO2, 278 cars’ emissions or powering 194 homes
  • San Diego store – opened in 2000; store size: 198,000 SF on 10 acres
    FUEL CELL PROGRAM: 200 kW generating 1,665,101 kWh/year
    Equivalent to reducing 877 tons of CO2, 185 cars’ emissions or powering 130 homes

Drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, IKEA strives to minimize its operations’ carbon emissions because reducing its environmental impact makes good business sense. IKEA evaluates locations for conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources, and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution. U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material; incorporating key measures into buildings with energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, warehouse skylights, and water-conserving restrooms; and operationally, no plastic bags in the check-out process, and selling only LED bulbs/fixtures. IKEA U.S. has installed electric vehicle charging stations at 14 locations and solar arrays at 90% of its locations, integrated two geothermal projects at two store locations and owns two wind farms.

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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.

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