IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, announced it has plugged-in a solar array atop the new IKEA Burbank, a larger, roomier store that opened in February in Burbank, California, less than one mile away from what was the company’s oldest store in the Western United States.
The new Burbank store’s 71,000-square-foot solar array consists of a 646 kW system, built with 1,872 panels, and will produce approximately 1,033,000 kWh of electricity annually for the store, the equivalent of reducing 726 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) – equal to the emissions of 153 cars or providing electricity for 77 homes yearly (calculating clean energy equivalents at www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html).
For the development, design and installation of the new store’s solar power system, IKEA selected REC Solar, a national leader in commercial solar electric design and installation with more than 600 systems built across the U.S. VCC Construction built the store that reflects the same unique architectural design for which IKEA stores are known worldwide.
“Completing the solar installation is another exciting and sustainable milestone at the new IKEA Burbank,” said Jeff O’Shaughnessy, store manager. “IKEA strives to create a sustainable life for communities where we operate, and the new IKEA Burbank is furthering this goal with a solar array nearly three times the size of the one atop our old store.”
This array contributes to the IKEA solar presence atop nearly 90% of its U.S. locations, with a total generation goal 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 allocated $2.5 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2020, reinforcing its confidence and investment in 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 29 stores, including 6 units at the new Burbank store, with more locations planned.