When the rooftop solar installation on the IKEA story in Charlotte, North Carolina was plugged in on the 4th of June, it represented the last of the planned systems in the United States. 39 of the 44 U.S. IKEA locations are now generating a total of nearly 38 megawatts of clean, renewable energy. The goal of this inspired company is to be energy independent by 2020. To reach this objective, IKEA has installed more than 250,000 solar panels on buildings around the globe and owns and or operates close to 110 wind turbines in Europe. I’ve included a charming video of children saying what they would do to clean up our planet. The following is from the IKEA Sustainability News release.
The 122,000-square-foot rooftop solar PV array consists of a 1,015-kW system, built with 4,228 panels. IKEA Charlotte’s program will produce approximately 1,330,000 kWh of clean electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing 938 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), eliminating the emissions of 195 cars or powering 140 homes yearly.
This installation represents the 39th completed rooftop solar project for IKEA in the U.S., the last one that had been planned and underway, making the total U.S. solar presence of IKEA nearly 90% of its locations (39 of 44 buildings), with a total generation goal of 38 MW. IKEA 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 confidence in rooftop solar photovoltaic, PV technology.
“The installation of rooftop solar panels at IKEA Charlotte is another way we can build upon our on going commitment to sustainability,” said Richard Castanon, IKEA Charlotte store manager. “At IKEA, we believe in creating a better every life for many people, so investing in renewable energy accomplishes helps contribute to that goal. We appreciate the support of the City of Charlotte, Duke Energy, and Gehrlicher Solar, our partners in this project.”
IKEA talks to children about environmental sustainability. Children have some unique and surprising perspectives! Spend a few moments and listen to what they have to say about taking care of our planet.
Located on 25 acres in the University City area at the northeast corner of I-85 and City Boulevard, the 356,000-s.f. IKEA Charlotte opened February 2009. In addition to 10,000 exclusively designed items, this IKEA store presents 48 different room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area, and a 450-seat restaurant serving Swedish specialties as well as American dishes. Other family-friendly features include a ‘Children’s IKEA’ area in the Showroom, baby care rooms, play areas throughout the store, and preferred parking.
Specific U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material; incorporating environmental measures into the actual buildings with energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas, and water-conserving restrooms; and operationally, eliminating plastic bags from the check-out process, phasing-out the sale of incandescent light bulbs, facilitating recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs, and by 2016 selling and using only L.E.D. bulbs. IKEA also has installed electric vehicle charging stations at nine stores in the Western U.S