Ikea to install solar panels on eight Calif. locations

Conshohocken, Pa. Ikea said late Wednesday it plans to install solar energy panels on eight of its California locations.

Pending governmental permits, installation can begin in late fall, with completion expected in early 2011.

Collectively, the eight buildings comprise nearly 90% of the Ikea presence in California, and will total 4.5 megawatts (MW) of solar generating capacity, nearly 20,000 panels, and an annual output of 6.65 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity. This effort represents the equivalent to reducing 5,268 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) in California - equaling the emissions of 914 cars or providing 580 homes electricity yearly.

Ikea will be installing panels at its three stores in Northern California (East Palo Alto, Emeryville and West Sacramento), four stores in Southern California (Burbank, Costa Mesa, Covina and San Diego) and at its distribution center in Tejon -- one of the top 10 largest rooftop commercial systems in the United States, according to the retailer.

“This approach is consistent with our commitment to sustainable building practices and we are thrilled that our evaluation determined these projects to be feasible for Ikea,” said Mike Ward, Ikea U.S president.

For the seven stores, Ikea contracted with Gloria Solar -- the US Systems Integrator of the E-Ton Solar Group that recently completed a 600 kW program at Ikea Tempe, Ariz.

For the Tejon distribution center -- the largest Ikea U.S. building -- Ikea contracted with REC Solar for the second largest single-roof commercial system in California. 

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