Thursday, October 14, 2010

IKEA Stores to Install 20,000 Solar Panels

IKEA plans to expand its use of renewable energy this year by installing nearly 20,000 solar panels on eight of its California locations.

The Swedish home furnishings retailer expects the panels to generate 6.65 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually -- enough to power 580 homes for a year. Pending governmental permits, it will begin installation in late fall at its three northern stores (East Palo Alto, Emeryville and West Sacramento), four southern ones (Burbank, Costa Mesa, Covina and San Diego) and its large distribution center in Tejon.

"We are excited about this investment by IKEA in using renewable energy," said Mike Ward, IKEA's U.S. president, said Wednesday in announcing the plans.

IKEA has made other sustainable efforts such as flat-packing its goods for efficient distribution, recycling about 75% of waste (paper, wood, plastic, etc.), using less water and energy at its facilities and selling . On August 1st, it started phasing out incandescent light bulbs from its U.S. stores, aiming to eliminate them completely by January.

In the United States, it already has solar arrays in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; and Tempe, Ariz., and solar water heating in Charlotte, N.C.; Draper, Utah; Orlando, Fla; and Tampa, Fla. A geothermal system has been incorporated into a store under construction in Centennial, Colo.


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