IKEA announced plans to further the Swedish retailer’s renewable commitment with plans for its first biogas-powered fuel cell system on the east coast, at its store in New Haven, CT. More than a year ago, IKEA completed installation of such a project at IKEA Emeryville, one of the Swedish company’s two San Francisco-area stores. And, earlier this summer, IKEA announced plans for similar projects at four additional California stores. Pending permits, the New Haven fuel cell system will be installed, commissioned and operational by this Fall, bringing the IKEA fuel cell portfolio to more than 1.5 MW.
“We are excited about furthering our sustainability commitment with fuel cells at IKEA New Haven,” said Christof Stein, store manager. “Similar to our rooftop solar array, this fuel cell system will greatly reduce our carbon footprint and the store’s reliance on the power grid as well as contribute to our vision of creating a better everyday life for the many.”
Slightly larger than the physical size of a commercial back-up generator, the 250-kw, biogas-powered project will produce approximately 2,081,376 kWh of electricity annually for the store, the equivalent of reducing 1,218 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) – equal to the emissions of 233 cars or to providing electricity for 163 homes yearly (calculating clean energy equivalents at www.epa.gov/energy/greenhouse-gas-equivalencies-calculator). Combined with the 940.8-kW solar array installed atop the store in 2012, the fuel cell project will help generate a majority of the store’s energy onsite.
For the design, development and installation of this fuel cell system, IKEA contracted with Sunnyvale-based Bloom Energy a provider of breakthrough solid oxide fuel cell technology generating clean, highly-efficient on-site power.