Conshohocken, Pa. -- Ikea announced solar energy is planned for its store under construction in Sweetwater, Fla., which is in the Miami-metro area. Pending permits, installation of solar panels on the store’s roof will begin in several months, with completion by grand opening in summer 2014. Ikea contracted with REC Solar for the development, design and installation of the 416,000-sq.-ft. store’s customized solar power system.
The array will be the largest such installation in South Florida. Combined with rooftop arrays in Orlando, Tampa and Sunrise, this fourth solar project will keep Ikea as the state’s largest non-utility solar owner. The 178,000-sq.-ft. solar array will consist of a 1,178-kW system, built with 4,620 panels, and will produce approximately 1,738,876 kWh of electricity annually for the store, the equivalent to reducing 1,227 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) – equal to the emissions of 256 cars or providing electricity for 169 homes yearly.
This installation will represent the 40th solar project for Ikea in the U.S, contributing to the Ikea goal of a solar presence on nearly 90% of its U.S. locations, with a total generation goal of 38 MW. The retailer 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.
This investment reinforces the long-term commitment of Ikea to sustainability and confidence in photovoltaic (PV) technology. Consistent with the company’s goal of being energy independent by 2020, Ikea has installed more than 250,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and owns/operates approximately 110 wind turbines in Europe.
“This array allows us to continue rolling-out solar panels atop 90% of our U.S. locations,” said Mike Ward, Ikea U.S. president. “Ikea is committed to creating a more sustainable life for communities where we operate, so we are proud of investing in four Florida solar projects.”