Once again proving its environmentalist credentials, IKEA has announced plans to add to its 44 MW solar portfolio in the U.S., with a rooftop array for its future Columbus store. It is the latest move by IKEA in its quest to go 100% energy independent by 2020, by investing in renewable energy projects at its retail sites.
The Columbus array, made up of 3,546 modules will have a capacity of 1.21 MW. Drawing upon industry expertise, the company has acquired the services of REC Solar to take charge of development, design, and installation of the system. The installation is set to begin early next year, and is expected to be completed in spring 2017, in time for the opening of the store in the summer.
It is the second IKEA solar system in Ohio, with another array on its West Chester store, with a capacity of 1.026 MW. Once the second system is installed, the combined capacity of these two systems will make IKEA the largest non-utility solar owner in Ohio.
“We are excited about furthering our sustainability commitment with solar panels on the future Columbus store,” commented IKEA U.S. President Lars Petersson. “At IKEA, we have a mission to create a better everyday like for many, and IKEA Columbus can add to this goal while also making us the largest non-utility solar owner in Ohio.”
Incredibly, this will be the 46th solar project that IKEA has undertaken in the U.S., with a solar presence on almost 90% of its U.S. locations. Combined, these systems have an impressive capacity of 44 MW. However, the company still has a way to go before rivalling fellow retail company Target that has 147.5 MW of installed solar on its facilities, and Walmart that has 145 MW of installed solar.
And IKEA isn’t just focusing on the U.S., in fact, it has allocated USD 2.5 billion to invest in renewable energy projects globally by 2020. The eventual goal of this renewable energy investment push is to be 100% energy independent by 2020.
Its solar presence doesn’t stop there, as it began selling residential solar systems earlier in the year at its “Solar Shops,” which can be found within selected IKEA stores in Europe. It hopes that it will be able to expand its solar sales points across its stores globally, with the ambitious target of becoming the world’s largest residential solar retailer.