IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today announcedsolar 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 4,620panels, and will produce approximately 1,738,876 kWh of electricity annually for the store, theequivalent to reducing 1,227 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) – equal to the emissions of 256 carsor providing electricity for 169 homes yearly (calculating clean energy equivalents atwww.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html). For the development, designand installation of the Miami-Dade store’s customized solar power system, IKEA contractedwith REC Solar, Inc., a national leader in solar electric system design and installation with morethan 10,000 systems built across the U.S.
This installation will represent the 40th solar project for IKEA in the U.S, contributing tothe IKEA goal of a solar presence on nearly 90% of its U.S. locations, with a total generationgoal 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 longtermcommitment of IKEA to sustainability and confidence in photovoltaic (PV) technology.Consistent with the company’s goal of being energy independent by 2020, IKEA has installedmore than 250,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and owns/operatesapproximately 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 lifefor 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 goodbusiness while doing good business and aims to minimize impacts on the environment.Globally, IKEA evaluates locations regularly for conservation opportunities, integratesinnovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources, and flatpacksgoods for efficient distribution. Specific U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling wastematerial; incorporating environmental measures into the actual buildings with energy-efficientHVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas, andwater-conserving restrooms; and operationally, eliminating plastic bags from the check-outprocess, 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 hasinstalled 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 on14.6 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 storein 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 designand function at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently morethan 340 IKEA stores in 41 countries, including 38 in the U.S. IKEA incorporates sustainabilityinto day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment.For more information, see IKEA-USA.com, facebook.com/IKEAUSA, @DesignByIKEA, and http://pinterest.com/IKEAUSA/.