CONSHOHOCKEN, PA – IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today announced solar energy is planned for its Miami-Dade-area store under construction in Sweetwater, FL. Pending permits, installation of solar panels on the store’s roof will begin in several months, with completion by grand opening in Summer 2014. The array will be the largest such installation in South Florida. Combined with rooftop arrays in Orlando, Tampa and Sunrise, this fourth solar project will keep IKEA as the state’s largest non-utility solar owner.
The 178,000-square-foot solar array will consist of a 1,178-kW system, built with 4,620 panels, and will produce approximately 1,738,876 kWh of electricity annually for the store, the equivalent to reducing 1,227 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) – equal to the emissions of 256 cars or providing electricity for 169 homes yearly (calculating clean energy equivalents at www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html ).
For the development, design and installation of the Miami-Dade store’s customized solar power system, IKEA contracted with REC Solar, Inc., a national leader in solar electric system design and installation with more than 10,000 systems built across the U.S. This installation will represent the 40th solar project for IKEA in the U.S, contributing to the IKEA goal of a solar presence on nearly 90% of its U.S. locations, with a total generation goal of 38 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 $1.8 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2015. This investment reinforces the longterm commitment of IKEA to sustainability and confidence in photovoltaic (PV) technology. Consistent with the company’s goal of being energy independent by 2020, IKEA has installed more than 250,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and owns/operates approximately 110 wind turbines in Europe.
“This array allows us to continue rolling-out solar panels atop 90% of our U.S. locations,” said Mike Ward, IKEA U.S. president. “IKEA is committed to creating a more sustainable life for communities where we operate, so we are proud of investing in four Florida solar projects.” IKEA, drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, believes it can be a good business while doing good business and aims to minimize impacts on the environment. Globally, IKEA evaluates locations regularly for conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources, and flatpacks 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, phasing-out the sale of incandescent light bulbs, facilitating recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs, and by 2016 selling and using only L.E.D. bulbs. IKEA also has installed electric vehicle charging stations at nine stores in the West. The 416,000 square-foot future IKEA Miami, and 1,500 parking spaces, will be built on 14.6 acres adjacent to the Dolphin Mall, at the intersection of the Dolphin Expressway (SR 836) and Florida’s Turnpike, in the City of Sweetwater.
Until IKEA Miami opens as the 2nd IKEA store in South Florida and fourth in the state, customers can shop at Broward County’s IKEA Sunrise. 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 340 IKEA stores in 41 countries, including 38 in the U.S. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment.
Source: IKEA-USA.com (photo is of another IKEA installation)