IKEA’s Costa Mesa Solar Project Plugs In

More than 1,000 solar panels atop the IKEA store in Costa Mesa, Calif., are plugged in and producing solar energy, the company announced. The 248-kilowatt system will produce 353,800 kilowatt-hours of clean energy annually, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 280 tons a year, the company said.

The Orange County solar project is hardly the first for the Swedish-based home furnishing retailer. IKEA has nine other solar energy systems currently up and running at stores across the United States. New solar  installations are planned for three more California locations and eight eastern locations.

IKEA Solar

image via IKEA

The Costa Mesa project is IKEA’s first installation in the 50,000-square-mile service area of Southern California Edison, the utility providing electric power to approximately 14 million people throughout the region. IKEA contracted with Gloria Solar for the development, design and installation of the customized solar power system.

IKEA has pushed hard to project a conservation-friendly profile globally (see a PDF of its 2010 sustainability report). Their sustainability efforts specific to the United States include: recycling waste materials, using energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycling construction materials, using water conservation techniques in restrooms and phasing out the sale of incandescent light bulbs.

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Kristy Hessman is a writer and native Oregonian who currently resides in California. Before starting her own company, she worked as a reporter covering business and politics for daily newspapers and The Associated Press.