IKEA has completed and is now using an expanded solar energy system atop its Denver-area store that opened more than two years ago in Centennial, CO. Installation of the additional panels began this summer, and since then have more than doubled the size of the original array, which already was the state’s largest single-use rooftop solar panel array on a commercial building. It is now the largest solar panel configuration in the area for any use.
The 83,700-square-foot solar addition consists of a 623-kW system, built with 2,492 panels, and will produce 961,000 kWh of electricity annually for the store. Including the existing system, IKEA Centennial’s total 1,121-kW solar installation of 4,704 panels now will generate 1,701,000 kWh of clean electricity yearly, the equivalent of reducing 1,200 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), eliminating the emissions of 250 cars or powering 180 homes.
“We are fortunate to have the roof space and corporate commitment to more than double the energy being generated on-site here at the store,” said John Ellis, store manager. “We are proud to make this investment and to grow our local sustainable footprint.”
Last Spring, IKEA achieved its goal of completing solar installations atop nearly 90% of its U.S. buildings (39 out of 44 locations), with a generation goal of 38 MW. IKEA owns and operates each of its solar PV energy systems— 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 company’s long-term commitment to sustainability and confidence in photovoltaic (PV) technology. Consistent with the IKEA goal of being energy independent by 2020, IKEA has installed more than 300,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and owns/operates approximately 137 wind turbines in Europe.