IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, on July 1 officially plugged-in an expansion of the solar array completed last April atop its Perryville, Md., distribution center, the state’s largest such solar energy system.
Installation of the new panels began in the fall of 2013, and since then they have nearly doubled the size of the original project. The 467,618-square-foot solar addition consists of a 2.2-MW system, built with 7,337 modules, and will produce 2,695,355 kWh of electricity annually. Including the existing system, this distribution center’s total 4.9-MW solar installation of 25,913 panels now will generate 6,092,533 kWh of electricity yearly.
For the development, design and installation of the Perryville distribution center’s original and expanded solar power system, IKEA contracted with Inovateus Solar LLC, an industry-leading solar power distributor and integrator specializing in large-scale solar installations.
Last year, 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 $1.8bn to invest in renewable energy through 2015. Consistent with the goal of being energy independent by 2020, IKEA has installed more than 550,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and owns/operates approximately 157 wind turbines in Europe and Canada.
IKEA U.S. has solar arrays atop 90% of its locations, has announced plans to purchase 49 wind turbines in Illinois, and has rolled-out EV charging stations at 13 stores.