IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today announced it had completed the installation of South Florida’s largest solar array, which will be plugged-in officially atop the future Miami-Dade IKEA store opening this summer in Sweetwater, FL. 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 consists of a 1,178-kW system, built with 4,620 panels, and will produce approximately 1,738,876 kWh of electricity annually for the store, the equivalent of reducing 1,227 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) – equal to the emissions of 256 cars or providing electricity for 169 homes yearly (calculating clean energy equivalents at www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html). For the development, design and installation of the Miami-Dade store’s customized solar power system, IKEA contracted with REC Solar, a national leader in solar electric system design and installation with more than 350 systems built across the U.S.
This installation will represent the 40th solar project for IKEA in the U.S, contributing to the IKEA solar presence atop nearly 90% of its U.S. locations, and 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 550,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and owns/operates approximately 157 wind turbines in Europe and Canada, with 49 more being built in the U.S.
“Completing this solar array is an exciting milestone as we prepare to open IKEA Miami this summer,” said Selwyn Crittendon, IKEA Miami store manager. “IKEA strives to create a sustainable life for communities where we operate, so we are proud this new store will generate solar power while offering our unique selection of affordable home furnishings.”
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 energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas, and water-conserving restrooms. Operationally, IKEA eliminate plastic bags from the check-out process, phased-out the sale of incandescent bulbs, facilitates recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs, and by 2016 will sell only L.E.D. IKEA also has installed EV charging stations at 13 stores, with plans for more locations.
The 416,000 square-foot future IKEA Miami, with 1,500 parking spaces, is being built on 14.6 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 store in 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 design and function, at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 350 IKEA stores in 44 countries, including 38 in the U.S. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information, see IKEA-USA.com, @IKEAUSANews, @DesignByIKEA or IKEAUSA on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Pinterest.