IKEA’s been adding solar to its stores as quickly as homeowners can put the furniture giant’s shelves together this summer. On Aug. 23, the company announced its most recent photovoltaic array, a 252-kilowatt array at its San Diego store. The arrays are part of the company’s overall goal to become 100 percent powered by renewable energy.
The installation won’t provide all the store’s electric needs, according to IKEA spokesperson Joseph Roth.
“We do not disclose that [i.e., how much of the electric the system supplies], but it definitely does not take care of the store,” he said.
This summer the company also announced arrays at its new flagship store in Centennial, Colo.; at its Costa Mesa, Calif., store; and at its Tejon, Calif., distribution.
“[The Tejon installation] is 1.8 megawatts. It’s the second largest single-roof system in California and sixth largest in the nation,” Roth said.
Now, almost all of IKEA’s California locations have or are on their way to installing solar.
“We have eight stores in California. Plus the distribution center,” he said. “Of our eight stores, seven were listed for solar, and five are now completed.”
The company is planning to install solar on the other stores and is in various stages on installing in the Midwest and the East Coast.
“We still have eight installations going on in the Eastern U.S. at the moment,” Roth said.
The company is adding solar at locations in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
“Both of our Philadelphia area stores are among the ones currently underway,” he said.
IKEA’s solar efforts aren’t just limited to the U.S., Roth said.
“This is part of a global initiative, he said. “In general all new Ikea stores, when planned, are being evaluated for solar and geothermal.”
The company also is reevaluating existing Ikea sites for more solar.
Ikea purchases the systems outright, according to Roth.
While IKEA specializes in prepackaged furniture, it’s choosing different installers and modules for each location, according to Roth, depending on the location, the structure and the weather conditions.
Most have been crystalline silicon-based, but at least one uses thin-film photovoltaics, he said.
Image courtesy of IKEA.