Majority of IKEA Stores to be Solar by 2012 0

The Swedish furniture giant IKEA recently announced that three more of its stores plan to go solar by Spring 2012, bringing the total number of IKEA locations with solar to 23—the company has 38 stores in the U.S.

The company announced a trio of new planned solar installations earlier in November. While IKEA said the new installations are pending governmental permits, it plans to begin construction on the three new arrays, comprising a total of 2.4 megawatts and projected to generate 3,156 megawatt hours of electricity annually.

Under the plans, IKEA’s Draper, Utah, store will receive a 1-megawatt installation; its New Haven, Conn., store a 941-kilowatt array; and its Portland, Ore., store a 497-kilowatt array.

In all, the company has already installed 6.9 megawatts of solar on stores and other IKEA buildings in the U.S., with more coming.

“We have completed installations at 12 locations, with 11 more currently planned or underway,” said IKEA spokesperson Joseph Roth. “I used the term ‘locations’ because we also are including our U.S. office and our distribution centers in the analysis and evaluation.”

Unlike some other companies, IKEA is purchasing the systems outright instead of using a power-purchase agreement to buy just the power from the array and the maintenance that comes with it. And it’s considering buying more, according to Roth.

“We continue to evaluate all locations across the country,” Roth said. “Our evaluation process is ongoing, and our stores are all being installed with similar programs—ones that we will actually own.”

IKEA’s commitment to sustainability has stretched much farther than just solar on its buildings’ rooftops in the U.S. The company said it is committed to getting 100 percent of its power from renewable sources.

“We believe we can be a good business while doing good business. We are confident about the immediate and long-term financial benefits,” Roth said.

Among other things it uses high-efficiency HVAC systems and recycled materials in its new buildings, like its flagship store in Centennial, Colo., which opened earlier this year.

And it’s added electric-vehicle chargers at nine of its stores in the western U.S.

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