DRAPER, Utah, Jul. 26 /CSRwire/ - IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today officially plugged-in the solar energy system installed at its Salt Lake-area store in Draper, Utah – the state’s largest private commercial solar project. The 180,500-square-foot PV array consists of a 1,015-kW system, built with 4,228 panels, and represents the state'. IKEA Draper’s program will produce approximately 1,487,080 kWh of clean electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing 1,025 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), eliminating the emissions of 201 cars or powering 128 homes yearly (calculating clean energy equivalents at www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html).
This investment by IKEA reinforces the company’s long-term commitment to sustainability and confidence in photovoltaic (PV) technology. 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 this Draper installation represents the 26th completed solar energy project for IKEA in the United States, with 13 more locations underway, making the eventual U.S. solar presence of IKEA nearly 89% with a total generation of 38 MW.
For the development, design and installation of the Draper store’s customized solar power system, IKEA contracted with REC Solar, Inc., a national leader in solar electric system design and installation with more than 8,000 systems built across the U.S.
“We at IKEA believe in the never-ending job of striving to improve the sustainability of our day-to-day business,” said Tony Williams, IKEA Draper store manager. “The IKEA coworkers in Draper are excited to help contribute to this goal with our newly operational solar energy system. We appreciate the support of the City of Draper, Rocky Mountain Power and REC Solar, Inc., our partners in this project.”
IKEA, drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, believes it can be a good business while doing good business and aims for its operations to minimize impacts on the environment. Globally, IKEA evaluates all locations regularly for energy conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works with Global Forest Watch to maintain sustainable resources, and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution. Specific U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material (paper, wood, plastic, etc.); incorporating environmental measures into the construction of buildings in terms of 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 and facilitating recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs. IKEA also has installed electric vehicle charging stations at nine stores in the Western U.S.
Located on 22.5 acres along Interstate 15 at the Bangerter Highway exit, the 310,000-square-foot IKEA Draper store opened in May 2007. 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 350-seat restaurant serving Swedish specialties such as meatballs with lingonberries and salmon plates, as well as American dishes. Other family-friendly features include a ‘Children’s IKEA’ area in the Showroom, baby care rooms, preferred parking and play areas throughout the store.
IKEA strives to be ‘The Life Improvement Store,’ and since its 1943 founding in Sweden, has offered home furnishings of good design and function, at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 330 IKEA stores in 40 countries, including 38 in the U.S. IKEA incorporates sustainable efforts into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information, go to IKEA-USA.com.
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