Ikea powers up with solar in East Palo Alto store
East Palo Alto, Calif. — Ikea said Wednesday it has plugged in the solar energy installation at its store in East Palo Alto, Calif.
The 38,000-sq.-ft. array consists of a 302-kW system, built with approximately 1,344 panels. The Swedish home furnishings retailer’s program will produce approximately 427,900 kWh of clean electricity annually – the equivalent of reducing 326 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), eliminating the emissions of 58 cars or powering 35 homes yearly.
Ikea said its initiative will contribute to the local utility’s renewable portfolio goals and will lower the carbon intensity of the electrical grid.
The East Palo Alto effort represents the seventh solar energy project for Ikea in the United States, joining operational systems in Brooklyn, N.Y., Burbank, Calif., Pittsburgh, Tejon, Calif., and Tempe, Ariz., with both a solar energy system and a geothermal system operational at the Denver-area store opening this July in Centennial, Colo.
There currently are plans underway to install systems at five other Ikea locations in California, as well as eight more in the Eastern U.S.
For the development, design and installation of the customized solar power system, Ikea contracted with Gloria Solar, the U.S. operating group focused on the photovoltaic business within the family of E-Ton Solar Group.
“Our mission is to create a better everyday life for the many, and at Ikea East Palo Alto, we are happy to do so with this effort,” said Jill Matherson, store manager. “A solar energy system will help reduce the store’s carbon footprint and represents another investment toward our future in this community. We appreciate the continued support of the City of East Palo Alto, Pacific Gas & Electric, and Gloria Solar, our partners in this project.”
Globally, Ikea evaluates all locations regularly for energy conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works with Global Forest Watch to maintain sustainable resources, and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution. Specific U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material (paper, wood, plastic, etc.); incorporating environmental measures into the construction of buildings in terms of energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas, and water conserving restrooms; and operationally, phasing out the sale of incandescent light bulbs and facilitating recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs.
Wisconsin to gain new Walmart, Macy’s and Target
Milwaukee — A Wednesday report by the The Business Journal of Greater Milwaukee said that the Village of Greendale (Wis.) has approved a Walmart and garnered one of several approvals needed for a Macy’s at the village’s board meeting held Tuesday.
The board approved rezoning, a special use permit and other plans needed for a 92,000-sq.-ft. Walmart slated to include a pharmacy and grocery with two out-lots for future developments.
Gatlin Development Co., the company that’s developing the store for Wal-Mart Stores, didn’t give an estimated groundbreaking date, but Scott Satula, village director of inspection services, expects it to be soon, he said.
The village also approved exterior changes at Southridge Mall for the addition of a Macy’s department store. Macy’s still needs approval for interior changes, Satula said.
In related news, the Brookfield (Wis.) Common Council unanimously approved a rezoning request and site plan Tuesday for a 140,000-sq.-ft. Target store, Quebecor World a second-to-last step before final approval.
The store is part of a larger plan for a retail strip proposed by Ryan Cos. US, of Minneapolis, which could eventually include a restaurant, junior anchor tenant, bank and other retail stores.
The addition of a big-box retailer caused some concern among the city council and residents, and the council asked for several changes to the original plan from Ryan Cos., including greater architectural detail and landscaping enhancements. The requested changes were included in the approved site plan, according to Dan Ertl, director of community development.
Groundbreaking on the Target store is slated for Aug. 31, with store opening projected for October 2012.
Lumber Liquidators board member Tadler to step down
Toano, Va. — Hardwood flooring retailer Lumber Liquidators said Wednesday that Richard D. Tadler will be stepping down from the board of directors, effective June 30.
Tadler joined the board in 2004 when TA Associates, the private equity firm of which he is a managing director, originally invested in the company.
TA Associates divested its interest in Lumber Liquidators in 2009, leading to Tadler’s decision to step down.