IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, announced plans to install solar panels atop its future Jacksonville store opening Fall 2017. Panel installation will begin this summer, with completion expected in early Fall for what will be the fifth IKEA solar array in the State of Florida.
The Jacksonville store’s 251,206-square-foot solar array will consist of a 1.89 MW system, built with 5,472 panels, and will produce approximately 2,753,070 kWh of electricity annually for the store, the equivalent of reducing 2,133 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) – equal to the emissions of 409 cars or providing electricity for 204 homes yearly (calculating clean energy equivalents at www.epa.gov/energy/greenhouse-gas-equivalencies-calculator).
For the development, design and installation of the new store’s solar power system, IKEA selected REC Solar, a national leader in solar electric design and installation with more than 600 systems built across the U.S. Marcobay Construction is building the store that will reflect the same unique architectural design for which IKEA stores are known worldwide.
“We are excited about furthering our sustainability commitment and contributing to a low-carbon society with solar atop our future Jacksonville store,” said Lars Petersson, IKEA U.S. president. “We have a mission to create a better everyday life for the many, and IKEA Jacksonville can add to this goal and keep us Florida’s largest non-utility private solar owner.”
This installation will represent the 49th solar project for IKEA in the United States, contributing to the IKEA solar presence atop nearly 90% of its U.S. locations, with a total generation of more than 42 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 $2.5 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2020, 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 300 wind turbines, including 104 in the U.S.
IKEA, drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, believes it can do good business while minimizing 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, and selling only LED bulbs. IKEA has installed electric vehicle charging stations at 15 stores, with more locations planned.
The 290,000-square-foot future IKEA Jacksonville and its 950 parking spaces will be built on 25 acres along the northwestern corner of Interstate 295 and Gate Parkway, approximately 10 miles southeast of downtown Jacksonville. U