IKEA Continues Nationwide Solar Build-Out

Posted by Joseph Bebon on November 30, 2016 No Comments

IKEA keeps adding to its solar portfolio. The home furnishings retailer has announced plans to install solar panels atop its future Columbus, Ohio, store, which is opening in summer 2017. Once completed in the spring, the project will represent IKEA’s second solar array in Ohio, as the company installed a 1.026 MW rooftop array at the Cincinnati-area IKEA West Chester store in 2012.

The Columbus store’s 213,000-square-foot solar array will consist of a 1.21 MW system, built with 3,546 panels, and will produce approximately 1,447,700 kWh of electricity annually for the store. For the development, design and installation of the new store’s solar power system, IKEA selected REC Solar, and Pepper Construction is building the store.

“We are excited about furthering our sustainability commitment with solar panels on the future Columbus store,” says Lars Petersson, IKEA U.S. president. “At IKEA, we have a mission to create a better everyday life for the many, and IKEA Columbus can add to this goal while also making us the largest non-utility solar owner in Ohio.”

According to IKEA, the new installation will represent the company’s 46th solar project in the U.S., contributing to the IKEA solar presence atop nearly 90% of its U.S. locations, with a total generation of more than 40 MW. This announcement follows recently revealed plans for IKEA to build what it expects to be Illinois’ largest rooftop solar project, as well as the completion of what it claims is Tennessee’s biggest rooftop solar array.

IKEA notes that it owns and operates each of its solar PV systems 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.

IKEA is just one of many big-name companies throughout the U.S. that are installing solar for their operations. In fact, in its recent 2016 Solar Means Business report, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) ranked IKEA among the top U.S. corporate solar installers. Additional companies highlighted in the report included Target, Walmart and Apple, among others. More on that SEIA report is available here.

Photo courtesy of IKEA: The retailer announced the completion of a 1.46 MW solar system atop its Memphis, Tenn., store in September.

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