Ikea announced it now has solar on 90 percent of its US locations as it announced that its newest store, being completed in Columbus, Ohio, has a 1.2 megawatt rooftop solar array. The installation is Ikea’s 46th solar project in the US, which is owned and operated by the Swedish furniture giant that has already surpassed its goal of owning more than 40 megawatts of solar in the US. It's part of Ikea’s larger goal of becoming energy independent by 2020 through $2.5 billion in investments in clean energy.
Even with over 44 MWs of solar power in the US Ikea ranks 7th among the US’ businesses, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA’s) 2016 Solar Means Business report. With 147.5 MWs of solar power installed, Target now far surpasses Ikea. In fact last year Target became the first to unseat Walmart, which has 145 MWs of installed solar, as the topper of that list for the first time in five years.
Yet Ikea’s achievement is notable for the percentage of its overall buildings with solar power. With 700,000 solar panels installed at its locations throughout the world, Ikea also owns more than 300 wind turbines, including 104 in the US.
The Columbus solar installation covers 213,000-square-feet, the majority of the 354,000-square-foot roof and is expected to generate 1.5 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. “Completing the solar installation is another exciting and sustainable step in the progress towards opening the future Ikea Columbus,” said David Garcia, store manager.
“Ikea strives to create a sustainable life for communities where we operate, and Ikea Columbus is adding to this goal with one of Ohio’s largest rooftop solar arrays,” Garcia said. REC Solar installed the array as well as other energy efficiency measures, including LED lighting systems, skylights in warehouse areas, water-conserving bathrooms and three charging stations for electric cars.
Ikea’s steady progress toward using solar to power its facilities continued through 2016 with multiple rooftop projects coming online during throughout the year. Among them were the completion of a 1.8 megawatt solar array on its Renton, WA, store and a 1.5 megawatt solar array on its Memphis, TN, store. Both were the largest solar rooftops in their respective states. By installing these projects, the company isn’t just lowering its bottom line, it’s using high-traffic areas to show consumers the practical benefits of solar power.Tweet