As a green energy pioneer, IKEA plans to install rooftop solar array for its Kansas City-area store opening Fall 2014 in Merriam, KS. Pending permits, rooftop panel installation will begin next month, with completion before the store’s opening, making the project the largest rooftop solar array in the State of Kansas.
The 92,000-square-foot solar array will produce approximately 1,348,000 kWh of electricity annually for the store. For the development, design and installation of IKEA Merriam’s customized solar power system, IKEA contracted with Chicago-based SoCore Energy, one of the largest commercial solar developers in the Midwest, with more than 100 commercial-scale U.S. installations.
Under construction on 19 acres, the IKEA Merriam will be the second U.S. store for IKEA with a geothermal component to its heating and cooling system. Incorporating geothermal and solar will significantly reduce the energy IKEA Merriam will draw from the power grid.
“We are excited about furthering our sustainability commitment with solar panels on the future Merriam store,” said Rob Parsons, IKEA Merriam store manager. “As is the case with geothermal, solar energy will reduce greatly the new store’s energy needs and carbon footprint as well as contribute to our vision of creating a better everyday life for the many.”
This installation will represent the 41st solar project for IKEA in the U.S., contributing to the IKEA solar presence atop nearly 90% of its U.S. locations, with a total generation goal of 40 MW. IKEA owns and operates each of its solar PV energy systems atop its buildings – as opposed to a solar lease or PPA (power purchase agreement) – and globally has allocated $1.8 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2015, reinforcing its confidence and investment in solar PV technology. 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 approximately 157 wind turbines in Europe and Canada, with 49 more being built in the U.S.