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FRISCO, Texas, Aug. 02 /CSRwire/ - IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today officially plugged-in the solar energy system installed at its Dallas-area store in Frisco, Texas – which, when combined with projects completed in Houston and underway in Round Rock, make IKEA the state’s largest private solar owner. IKEA Frisco’s 114,000-square-foot photovoltaic (PV) array consists of a 912-kW system, built with 3,780 panels, and will produce approximately 1,336,300 kWh of clean electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing 1,016 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), eliminating the emissions of 181 cars or powering 115 homes yearly (calculating clean energy equivalents at www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html).
This installation represents the 30th completed solar project for IKEA in the U.S., with 9 more locations underway, making the eventual U.S. solar presence of IKEA nearly 89% with a total generation of 38 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 €590 million to invest in renewable energy, focusing on solar and wind during the coming three years. This investment reinforces the long-term commitment of IKEA to sustainability and confidence in photovoltaic (PV) technology. More than 250,000 solar panels have been installed on IKEA stores and buildings across the world. The company also owns and/or operates approximately 110 wind turbines in Europe.
For the development, design and installation of the Frisco 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 are thrilled at how this solar energy system furthers our commitment to sustainability at IKEA Frisco,” said Robby Wierman, IKEA Frisco store manager. “IKEA has a never-ending job where most things still remain to be done that encourages us always to ask ourselves how we can improve what we do today for a better tomorrow. We appreciate the support of the City of Frisco, Oncor 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 to minimize impacts on the environment. Globally, IKEA evaluates locations regularly for conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources, and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution. 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 and facilitating recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs. IKEA has installed electric vehicle charging stations at nine stores in the Western U.S.
Located on 25 acres at the northeastern corner of State Highway 121 and the Dallas North Tollway, the 310,000-square-foot IKEA Frisco opened in August 2005. 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 400-seat restaurant. 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 benefiting children and the environment. For more information, go to IKEA-USA.com.
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