IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, recently announced plans to install solar panels atop its future Columbus store opening Summer 2017.
Panel installation will begin in early 2017, with completion expected in the Spring for what will be the second IKEA solar array in the State of Ohio. IKEA 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, the equivalent of reducing 1,017 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) – equal to the emissions of 215 cars or providing electricity for 150 homes yearly (calculating clean energy equivalents at www.epa.gov/energy/greenhouse-gas-equivalencies-calculator).
For the development, design and installation of the new store’s solar power system, IKEA selected REC Solar, a national leader in solar electric design and installation with more than 550 systems built across the U.S. Pepper Construction is building the store that will reflect the same unique architectural design for which IKEA stores are known worldwide.
“We are excited about furthering our sustainability commitment with solar panels on the future Columbus store,” said 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.”
This installation will represent the 46th solar project for IKEA in the United States, contributing to the IKEA solar presence atop nearly 90% of its U.S. locations, with a total generation of more than 40 MW. IKEA owns and operates each of its solar PV energy systems atop its buildings – as opposed to a solar lease or PPA (power purchase agreement) – and globally has allocated $2.5 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2020, reinforcing its confidence and investment in solar photovoltaic technology. 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, drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, believes it can do good business while minimizing impacts on the environment. Globally, IKEA evaluates locations regularly for conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources, and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution. Specific U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material; incorporating environmental measures into the actual buildings with energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas, and water-conserving restrooms; and operationally, eliminating plastic bags from the check-out process, and selling only LED bulbs. IKEA has installed electric vehicle charging stations at 14 stores, with more locations planned.
The 354,000-square-foot future IKEA Columbus and its 1,200 parking spaces is being built on 33 acres at the northeastern corner of Interstate-71 and Gemini Place. Until the store opens, local customers can shop at the closest IKEA stores in: West Chester, OH; Pittsburgh, PA; and Canton, MI; or online at IKEA-USA.com.
Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings of good design and function at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 390 IKEA stores in 48 countries, including 42 in the U.S. IKEA has been ranked among “Best Companies to Work For” and, as further investment in its coworkers, has raised its own minimum wage twice in two years.
Information for this story was provided by IKEA.