Last week, IKEA, a Swedish company that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture, announced its plans to install solar panels on the roof of its new 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 opening in summer 2014. The array will be the largest solar roof 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 4,620 panels, and will produce approximately 1,738,876 kW·h of electricity annually for the store.
This is equivalent to reducing annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 1,227 tons—equal to the emissions of 256 cars or providing electricity for 169 homes yearly. For the development, design and installation of the Miami-Dade store’s customized solar power system, IKEA contracted with REC Solar, Inc., a national leader in solar electric system design and installation with more than 10,000 systems built across the U.S.
This installation will represent the 40th solar project for IKEA in the U.S, contributing to the IKEA goal of a solar presence on nearly 90% of its U.S. locations, with a total generation goal 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.
“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 life for communities where we operate, so we are proud of investing in four Florida solar projects.”