IKEA to be energy independent by 2020

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Furniture giant IKEA increases its solar array on top of its store in Stoughton, MA. The expansion is consistent with the firm’s goal of being energy independent by 2020.

IKEA is strenghtening its ties with solar. The furniture giant recently started selling solar panels in its store in Southampton, United Kingdom, and yesterday the company announced plans to increase the solar array on top of its Boston-area store in Stoughton, MA. The store opened eight years ago, and last month IKEA began work on a 58,575-square-foot store expansion, atop which new panels will be installed beginning Spring 2014. The solar expansion is expected to be completed in summer 2014. IKEA contracted with Gehrlicher Solar America for the development, design, and installation of the Stoughton store’s solar expansion.

The solar addition will consist of a 312kW system, built with approximately 1,250 panels. The 51,516-square-foot expansion will produce 383,200kWh more of electricity annually for the store. Including the existing system, the Stoughton store’s installation will consist of approximately 5,470 panels with a total capacity of 902.8kW. Together, the two solar arrays will generate 1,078,200kWh of electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing 761 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), eliminating the emissions of 158 cars or powering 105 homes.

IKEA has the goal of being energy independent by 2020. The company has installed more than 300,000 solar panels on buildings across the globe and owns and operates approximately 137 wind turbines in Europe. Last Spring, IKEA achieved its goal of completing solar projects on top of about 90% of its U.S. buildings (39 out of 44 locations), with a generation goal of 38MW. IKEA owns and operates each of the systems and globally has allocated $1.8 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2015.

“We are thrilled at the opportunity to double the amount of solar energy generated and used by this store,” said Anton van Dongen, store manager. “This is another example of the IKEA commitment to create a more sustainable life for communities where we operate.”

IKEA Stoughton was awarded LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council and hosts a green roof atop the store adjacent to where the first phase of solar panels were installed.