Ikea continues solar, electric vehicle commitment
Ikea’s upcoming store in Norfolk, Va., will have the area’s largest solar array.
Scheduled to open in spring, Ikea Norfolk will feature an 180,000-sq.-ft. solar array, which will consist of a 1.26 MW system, built with 3,654 panels. It will produce approximately 1,743,000 kWh of electricity annually for the store, the equivalent of reducing 1,233 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). REC Solar is responsible for the development, design and installation of the system.
In addition, the store will have three Blink electric vehicle charging stations. This initiative reflects the continued partnership between Ikea and Blink Charging Co., an owner, operator and provider of EV charging station products and networked EV charging services with thousands of public charging stations in the U.S. There are currently Blink EV charging units at 34 Ikea stores in the U.S.
“We are excited to further our sustainability commitment with the installation of the largest solar rooftop array in the area and EV charging stations at our future Ikea Norfolk store,” said Lisa Davis, sustainability manager, Ikea U.S. “At Ikea, we want to have a positive impact on people and the planet, and these investments support our objectives to reduce our emissions and achieve energy independence by 2020.”
This installation will represent the 56th solar project for Ikea in the U.S., and contribute to the company’s solar presence atop nearly 90% of its U.S. locations, with a total generation of more than 56 MW. The home furnishings giant 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 750,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and owns approximately 441 wind turbines, including 104 in the U.S.
To charge an EV at the future Ikea Norfolk, drivers can tap their Blink InCard (RFID card) to the reader below the screen, initiate the session directly from the Blink Mobile application, or use a guest code provided via the Blink Mobile app, www.BlinkCode.com, or Blink Customer Support (888-998-2546). Once the session is initiated, drivers can shop and eat at their leisure in the Ikea store while their vehicle is charging. EV drivers can become a Blink member for free and typically receive discounted charging fees at thousands of Blink units. More information about how to use the Blink EV charging stations and how to become a Blink Member is available at blinkcharging.com.
Drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, Ikea 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. sustainability 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.
The future 331,000-sq.-ft. Ikea Norfolk store will be built on 19 acres on the northwestern corner of Interstate 64 and Northampton Boulevard. Ikea Norfolk will feature nearly 10,000 exclusively designed items, 50 inspirational room settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area and a 450-seat restaurant serving traditional Swedish and American fare including Ikea meatballs.