Swedish furniture retailer IKEA has finally flipped the switch on the solar energy system perched atop its Brooklyn store’s roof. A recent statement indicates the solar system is now officially commissioned, operational and certified by Con Edison and New York City. According to this report at Onearth, the panels were actually installed atop New York’s first and only IKEA location last June, but delays in getting approvals from Con Ed have kept the solar panels on standby.
IKEA reports that the 200 kilowatt array occupies 19,000 square feet of rooftop real estate and involves 1,104 solar panels. The installation is expected to generate 240,000 kilowatt hours of renewable electricity annually for the store. That works out to be the about the same as 20 homes worth of electricity annually, according to an EPA clean energy calculator. IKEA Brooklyn also has 70,000-square feet of green roof, a 6.5-acre waterfront esplanade, multiple transit options, and has been certified as a Brownfield redevelopment. IKEA notes that the store also has been awarded LEED (Silver) by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute.
The Brooklyn store is just one of IKEA’s many clean energy projects. It currently has solar systems operational in Burbank, CA, Pittsburgh, PA and Tempe, AZ. Work on projects at seven of its California locations as well as two other east coast stores in Paramus, NJ and Stoughton MA have been underway for a while now. A store in Centennial, Colorado has both a solar energy and geothermal system, too.
Aside from its clean energy projects, IKEA notes it makes several sustainability efforts including the recycling of waste, the incorporation of 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. Operationally speaking, IKEA has chosen to phase incandescent light bulbs out of its inventory and facilitates the recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs.