The Sun Keeps Shining on IKEA: Furniture Giant to Install South Florida’s Largest Solar Array in Sweetwater

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IKEA adds more solar, again. This time, the furniture retailer plans to install a solar project at its store under construction in Sweetwater, Florida. Installation of the project is expected to begin in several months, with completion expected in summer 2014. The 1,178kW system will be the largest such installation in south Florida.

Swedish furniture giant IKEA is strenghtening its ties with solar, again. Consistent with the company’s goal of being energy independent by 2020, the firm expanded the solar array on its store in Stoughton, Massachusetts in early October, and recently the furniture retailer started expanding the solar array atop its Perryville, Maryland distribution center. Today, the company announced plans to install a solar project at its Miami-Dade-area store under construction in Sweetwater, Florida.

Depending on permit approval, installation of solar panels on the store’s roof will begin in several months, with completion expected in summer 2014. Upon completion, the array will be the largest such installation in south Florida. The 178,000-square-foot solar array will consist of a 1,178kW system built with 4,620 panels. The project will produce approximately 1,738,876kWh of electricity annually for the store, equivalent to reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 1,227 tons. 

For the development, design, and installation of the Miami-Dade store’s solar power system, IKEA contracted with REC Solar. Combined with rooftop arrays in Orlando, Tampa, and Sunrise, this fourth solar project in Florida will maintain IKEA’s place as the state’s largest non-utility solar owner.

The Sweetwater installation will represent the 40th solar project for IKEA in the U.S. Last Spring, IKEA achieved its goal of completing solar installations on about 90% of its U.S. buildings (39 out of 44 locations), with a generation goal of 38MW. In mid-October, SEIA and Vote Solar’s annual Solar Means Business report ranked IKEA as the fifth top corporate solar user

IKEA owns and operates each of the PV systems atop its buildings and globally has allocated $1.8 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2015. This investment reinforces the long-term commitment of IKEA to sustainability and to PV technology. Consistent with the company’s goal of being energy independent by 2020, IKEA has installed more than 250,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and owns/operates approximately 110 wind turbines in Europe.

“This array allows us to continue rolling out solar panels atop 90% of our U.S. locations,” said Mike Ward, IKEA U.S. president. “IKEA is committed to creating a more sustainable life for communities where we operate, so we are proud of investing in four Florida solar projects.”