IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today officially plugged-in the solar energy system installed at its distribution center in Perryville, Maryland. The 768,972-square-foot PV array consists of a 2,674.9-kW system, built with 18,576 panels, and is the state’s largest rooftop array.
The IKEA distribution center will produce approximately 3,397,178 kWh of clean electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing 2,397 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), eliminating the emissions of 499 cars or powering 359 homes yearly (calculating clean energy equivalents at www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html).
This installation represents the 36th completed solar project for IKEA in the U.S., with three more locations underway, making the eventual U.S. solar presence of IKEA nearly 90% of its U.S. locations with a total generation 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 long-term 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.
For the development, design and installation of the Perryville distribution center’s customized solar power system, IKEA contracted with Inovateus Solar LLC, an industry-leading solar power distributor and integrator specializing in large-scale solar installations.
“As one of the largest rooftop arrays in the country, this installation will ensure that the IKEA Perryville distribution center consumes very little power from the electric grid,” said Ed Morris, Perryville Distribution Center manager. “IKEA is thrilled at this opportunity to further our investment in this community while also continuing our commitment of incorporating sustainability into our supply chain operations. We appreciate the continued support of the City of Perryville, Cecil County, Delmarva Power, and Inovateus Solar, our partners in this project.”
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 flat-packs 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 and facilitating recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs. IKEA has installed electric vehicle charging stations at nine stores in the Western U.S., and by 2016 will go L.E.D. by selling and using lightbulbs that are only L.E.D.
Constructed on 278 acres in the community of Perryville, in Northern Maryland’s Cecil County, this 1.7 million-square-foot IKEA distribution center began operations in 2002, employs approximately 550 coworkers, and currently helps provide inventory to many U.S. IKEA stores.