Come for the cheap furniture, stay for the clean conscience.
Ikea, the popular Swedish retailer that specializes in moderately priced home furnishings, said it will add 40,000 square feet of rooftop solar panels to its Canton, Mich., store, as part of a store expansion that began in September.
Ikea said it is adding a 240.9-kilowatt system that will consist of 765 panels. The expanded solar array will produce an additional 287,490 kilowatt-hours of electricity for the store annually, according to the company.
Ikea expects to finish the expansion by summer 2015.
Including the existing system, the Canton store’s total 1,218.5-kilowatt installation of 4,925 solar panels will generate approximately 1.4 million kilowatt-hours of clean electricity yearly, according to Ikea. The company noted that the system’s electricity output is the equivalent of reducing 984 tons of carbon dioxide, eliminating the emissions of 207 cars or powering 135 homes.
For the development, design and installation of the store’s enhanced solar power system, Ikea tapped Inovateus Solar LLC, a solar-power distributor and integrator specializing in large-scale solar installations.
The company owns and operates each of its solar PV energy systems atop its buildings – as opposed to a solar lease or power-purchase agreement – and globally has allocated $1.8 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2015.
A Quest for Energy Independence
Ikea noted that it has installed more than 700,000 solar panels on buildings around the world and owns approximately 157 wind turbines in Europe and Canada, with 104 more being built in the United States.
The investments in solar and wind energy support the company’s goal of being energy-independent by 2020.
Highlighting some of its other sustainability efforts, Ikea said it “evaluates locations regularly for conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution.”
In the United States, the company said it has installed energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems as well as water-conserving restrooms and skylights in warehouses. The company also has eliminated plastic bags from the checkout process.