Ikea’s Solar Blitz Adding Up To Massive Power

Some of the Prologis facilities offer the possibility of mind-bogglingly big solar installations; last fall, a distribution center in Rialto, Calif., was blanketed with an 8.6- MW rooftop PV system, covering 1.2 million square feet.

Ikea can’t quite match that, but it’s installations are plenty big. In fact, the company’s array at its Canton, Mich., store is the biggest single solar installation in that state, at 977.6-kilowatts. The company also said its new 813-kW system at a store in Houston, combined with systems already in place in Frisco and Round Rock, makes it the largest solar owner in the state of Texas.

ikea solar

Rooftop solar at Ikea’s Canton, Mich., store. (image via Ikea)

That’s right, by the way: owner. Ikea has chosen to eschew lease and power-purchase agreements that offer cheaper upfront costs for solar installations, and instead is financing its solar expansion on its own.

As a company spokesman told Greenbiz.com’s Leslie Gueverra: “We own our land and we own our buildings, and we want to own the systems on our roofs — we don’t host them and we don’t lease them. We think it’s a big difference regarding the extent of our commitment to renewable energy and sustainability.”

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

5 Comments

  • Reply July 23, 2012

    Kyle Sager

    Love this article!!! Thank you for posting it.  The thing I like to observe: Since Southern Company has committed to a paltry 50 MW of solar across it’s footprint (7 states now, over 4 million customers): IKEA is pretty much committing as much to solar as THE LARGEST UTILITY COMPANY IN THE COUNTRY.  Awesome for IKEA.  Pathetic for Southern Company.  Southern Company should be talking gigawatts.  Solar is barely 1/10th of 1 percent of their portfolio  How lame.  http://heliocurrent.com/the-sun-furnishes-ikea-with-power/    kyle sager, heliocurrent, atlanta, ga heliocurrent.com

    • Reply July 23, 2012

      Pete

      Kyle — Wow, that’s remarkable that Southern Company has such a lame commitment to solar. Did not realize that, but looking at SEIA data on installations in the first quarter of 2012, it makes sense: There are just a few states in the South the top 23 in new installations, and they are far behind northern states like New Jersey and Massachusetts. Don’t they call it the Sun Belt???
      Cheers,
      Pete Danko

  • Reply July 24, 2012

    john whitehurst

    Nice glad to see it being done.
    One question, waht do they do after the sun sets.. Batteries or what.

    • Reply July 24, 2012

      EverybodySolar

      John – in most states they are likely “net metering”, which means they generate more energy than they need during the day which feeds back into the grid and gets sent to other users, then at night they get any energy they need from the grid. This way they don’t need batteries.

  • Reply July 24, 2012

    Everybody Solar

    Depending on the State they can likely Net Meter.

Leave a Reply