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Ikea installs large solar energy array at distribution center

Tejon, Calif. - Swedish home furnishings giant Ikea powered up a solar energy system at a distribution center here that it says is the second-largest single-roof commercial system in the state and the sixth largest in the nation.

The 370,000-square-foot solar array consists of a 1.8 megawatt system designed and installed by California-based REC Solar and built with 7,980 panels.

The solar system will produce 2.88 million kilowatt hours of electric power annually, the equivalent of eliminating the emissions of 389 cars, or powering 241 homes yearly, Ikea reported in a press release.

It also contributes to the local utility's renewable portfolio goals.

"Having solar panels on the roof of this distribution center demonstrates that the company's sustainable commitment extends beyond our stores into all facets of the retail operations," said Martin Grieder, distribution operations manager for western North America, in the press release.

In the United States, Ikea has solar energy systems in four stores and is installing them at nine other locations, including a Denver-area store opening this year that also will have a geothermal system.

The 1.8 million-square-foot Tejon Distribution Center opened in 2000 on 60 acres along Interstate 5 in Kern County.

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