IKEA, the Swedish home furnishings retailer, last week announced that it will install solar energy panels on ten additional U.S. branches, covering its entire presence in the Southern part of the country. Pending governmental permits, installation is scheduled to begin this winter, with completion expected in the summer of 2012.
The company said that collectively the nine stores and one distribution center will total 10.7 megawatts (MW) of solar energy generating capacity. They will include 45,360 panels, and a will produce 15,248,334 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year.
The company opted for owning and operating its solar PV energy systems, which will be installed atop its three Texas stores (Frisco, Houston and Round Rock), three Florida stores (Orlando, Sunrise and Tampa), Atlanta, Charlotte (GA), Woodbridge (VA) and the IKEA Distribution Center in Savannah, GA.
IKEA already has 12 U.S. solar energy systems operational with 11 more underway. With 10 more solar powered sites, the company’s solar presence will increase to 75% of its U.S. locations and a total solar generating capacity of approximately 26.8 MW.
“This investment extends our solar presence to the Southern U.S., further reducing our carbon footprint and the intensity of the electrical grid,” said Mike Ward, IKEA U.S. president.
Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.