IKEA Plugs in Rooftop Solar at 17th US Store

IKEA has plugged-in a 1 megawatt (MW) solar system on its  Paramus, New Jersey store, its 17th project in the US.

It consists of 4,620 panels spread over 132,000-square-feet of rooftop on the 375,000-square-foot store.

The company will eventually produce 30.8 MW of electricity when 20 more stores come online, serving 85% of US stores.

All operations in the southern US will be powered by rooftop solar, amounting to a total of 10.7 megawatts (MW) across 9 stores and a distribution center.

IKEA owns and operates each of its solar PV energy systems, rather than buying electricity through a solar lease or power purchase agreement. REC Solar installed the system.

Known as a leader in sustainability, they eliminated plastic bags from the check-out process, have long promoted efficient light bulbs to customers, and build stores using many green building features.

Globally, IKEA leads on green product design, energy efficiency for its products and in its operations, and commitment to sourcing materials such as wood from sustainable sources.

Its latest efforts include a Sustainability Product Score card to help the company purchase and develop products based on environmental impact criteria, and the installation of electric vehicle charging stations at nine stores in the Western U.S.

Ikea now owns 67 wind turbines in Europe totaling an impressive 130 MW in Germany, France, Denmark and UK. The company has a nine turbine wind farm in Sweden and bought a 12.3 MW windfarm in Scotland.

Chief Sustainability Officer Steve Howard estimates Ikea will be generating 70%-80% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2015 and is committed to runnng on 100% renewables.

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