Ikea is at it again. The Swedish home furnishings retailer says it will soon install solar energy systems at three more of its U.S. stores – in Draper, Uah; New Haven, Conn.; and Portland, Ore. Together, the outlets will get nearly 10,000 solar panels, enough to generate 3,156 megawatt-hours of electricity per year. The systems are scheduled to be installed in the spring of 2012, bringing the total number of Ikea locations with rooftop PV systems to 23.
Ikea will own and operate each of the systems (as opposed to a solar lease or power purchase agreement). The Draper and Portland projects will be installed by REC Solar, one of the largest U.S. solar electric installers, which has installed more than 7,000 systems nationwide. The system at the New Haven store will be installed by Gehrlicher Solar USA, a subsidiary of Gehrlicher AG, one of the 10 largest independent PV project developers in the world.
Ikea has also implemented other efforts to improve the sustainability of its U.S. stores, including: recycling paper, wood and plastic waste materials; incorporating energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas, and water conserving restrooms; and phasing out the sale of incandescent light bulbs and facilitating recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs. Nine western U.S. Ikea stores have also recently installed electric vehicle charging stations.
“We are thrilled that the installation of solar panels at these three stores will continue our rollout of solar energy programs across the country,” said Mike Ward, Ikea U.S. president. “This initiative, part of the company’s never-ending list of sustainable activities, will lower the carbon intensity of the electric grid and the U.S. carbon footprint of Ikea.”