Ikea plugs in new solar panel array at its San Diego unit
Home & Textiles Today Staff -- Home Textiles Today, August 23, 2011
San Diego - Home furnishings and furniture chain Ikea today plugged in its new solar energy system at its 198,000-square-foot unit here.
The 30,000-square-foot solar panel array consists of a 252-kilowatt system, built with approximately 1,120 panels. This program will produce approximately 366,400 kWh of clean electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing 290 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), or like eliminating the emissions of 50 cars or powering 32 homes yearly when calculating clean energy equivalents at www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html, the retailer noted. As such, it will lower the carbon intensity of the electrical grid.
This investment represents the 10th completed solar energy project for Ikea in the United States. There are additional installations currently underway at two other sites in California as well as eight more in the Eastern U.S.
For the development, design and installation of this customized solar power system, Ikea said it contracted with Gloria Solar, the U.S. operating group focused on the photovoltaic business within the family of E-Ton Solar Group. This project is the only Ikea installation in the 4,100-square-mile service area of SDG&E, the regulated public utility providing natural gas and electric service to approximately 3.5 million people throughout San Diego and Southern Orange Counties.
"We at Ikea believe in the never-ending job of striving to improve the sustainability of our day-to-day business," said Jim Tilley, store manager of the San Diego store. "The IKEA coworkers in San Diego are excited to help contribute to this goal with our newly operational solar energy system."
Ikea evaluates all of its international locations regularly for energy conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works with Global Forest Watch to maintain sustainable resources, and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution. Specifically in the United States, the retailer's sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material (paper, wood, plastic, etc.); incorporating environmental measures into the construction of buildings in terms of energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas, and water conserving restrooms; and operationally, phasing out the sale of incandescent light bulbs and facilitating recycling of customers' compact fluorescent bulbs.