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SAVANNAH, Oct. 09 /CSRwire/ - IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today officially plugged-in the solar energy system installed at its distribution center near Savannah, Georgia – the state’s largest private solar rooftop array. The 182,300-square-foot PV array consists of a 1,458.2-kW system, built with 6,076 panels. The IKEA distribution center in Savannah will produce approximately 1,973,562 kWh of clean electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing 1,361 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), eliminating the emissions of 267 cars or powering 170 homes yearly (calculating clean energy equivalents at www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html).
This installation represents the 34th completed solar project for IKEA in the U.S., with five more locations underway, making the eventual U.S. solar presence of IKEA nearly 89% of its U.S. locations, generating with a total 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 this distribution center’s customized solar power system, IKEA contracted with Gehrlicher Solar America Corp., part of Gehrlicher AG, one of the world's ten largest independent PV project developers and system integrators.
“Installing solar panels atop this facility demonstrates that the company’s sustainable commitment extends beyond our stores into all facets of the retail operations,” said William Jackson, Savannah Distribution Center Manager. “This solar array will reduce significantly the carbon footprint and electricity costs of this facility. We appreciate the continued support of the Chatham County, Georgia Power, and Gehrlicher Solar, 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 is installing solar arrays atop nearly 89% of its U.S. locations, and has installed electric vehicle charging stations at nine Western stores.
Constructed on 115 acres at the Savannah International Trade Park, this 789,000-square-foot IKEA distribution center receives 15,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit containers (TEUs) through the Port of Savannah yearly, employs approximately 100 coworkers, and provides inventory to ten IKEA stores in the U.S., as well as the Dominican Republic 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, as well as five other IKEA distribution centers in North America. IKEA incorporates sustainability 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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