Home furnishings retailer IKEA has announced plans to install solar panels atop its Midwest distribution center, which is under construction in Joliet, Ill. The company says that, once completed in fall 2017, the solar installation will be Illinois’ largest rooftop solar array. Installation will begin in spring 2017.
The distribution center’s 470,545-square-foot solar array will consist of a 2.91 MW system, built with 8,966 panels, and will produce approximately 3,411,600 kWh of electricity annually for the facility. For the development, design and installation of the facility’s solar project, IKEA selected SoCore Energy, a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Edison International. Gray Construction is managing the construction of the Joliet distribution center, which will receive and inventory goods sold at IKEA stores worldwide.
“We are excited to further our sustainability commitment with solar panels on our future Midwest distribution center,” says Lars Peterson, IKEA U.S. president. “Installing Illinois’ largest rooftop array advances our vision of creating a better everyday life for the many.”
The company notes that its Illinois renewable energy portfolio also includes large solar arrays atop its Chicago-area stores in Bolingbrook and Schaumburg, as well as a 49-turbine wind farm in Hoopeston.
IKEA says it believes the company can do good business while minimizing impacts on the environment. This new solar installation will represent the 45th solar project for IKEA in the U.S., contributing to IKEA’s solar presence atop nearly 90% of its U.S. locations, with a total generation of more than 40 MW. IKEA points out that it owns and operates each of its solar installations atop its buildings – as opposed to a solar lease or power purchase agreement – and globally has allocated $2.5 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2020. Consistent with the goal of being energy independent by 2020, IKEA has installed more than 700,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and owns approximately 300 wind turbines, including 104 in the U.S.