The flat pack giant has done it again, its help push solar into a place that isn’t known for it by installing a new array in Kansas. The company installed a 730.17 kilowatt solar array on its recently opened store in Merriam, Kans., which is the largest commercial installation in the state.
With the installation Ikea now has 41 solar installations in the U.S. and has solar power on almost 90 percent of its buildings in the country. In all, the company hopes to produce 40 megawatts of electricity via its U.S. with its installations. As with all of its installations the company chose to purchase the system outright rather than rely on a power-purchase agreement or lease model to finance the solar panels.“Plugging-in this solar array is an exciting milestone to follow-up on our successful opening last fall,” said Rob Parsons, IKEA Merriam store manager. “IKEA strives to create a sustainable life for communities where we operate, so we are proud IKEA Merriam now has solar power for our electricity besides geothermal technology to heat and cool the building.
For this installation of 2,394 solar panels Ikea chose Chicago’s SoCore Energy, which is owned by SunEdison International. The Merriam Ikea also has a geothermal energy heating and cooling system, which vastly reduced its energy use for heating and air conditioning.
Ikea isn’t the only chain that’s going solar in a big way. Of all companies in the U.S. Walmart is leading the way. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) e Solar Means Business report, as of last October, Walmart had solar on 215 of its locations in the U.S. producing 89.4 megawatts of electricity for its buildings. Earlier this year Target announced that it planned to install solar on 180 locations by the end of 2016. These companies are seeing solar as a way to cut their electric bills and have more control over their future energy costs.
The Ikea installations are part of the company’s attempt to be energy independent by 2020. Across the globe, the company has thus far allocated $1.8 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2015. Across the world that means it’s installed more than 700,000 solar panels. It also owns 157 wind turbines in Europe and Canada and is building 104 more in the U.S.Tweet