IKEA completes first MW-scale solar carport in US market

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From pv magazine USA

IKEA said last week that it has completed a 1.35 MW solar carport at one of its locations in Baltimore, Maryland, and plans to build seven more similar projects at other U.S. stores, in partnership with New York-based Distributed Solar Development­­ (DSD).

The solar carports will help IKEA move toward its goal of being powered by 100% renewable energy, while also increasing energy efficiency by 2025. DSD designed and built the Baltimore carport. Initial results indicate the location has seen an 84% decrease in its purchased energy requirement between September and December 2020, equating to a 57% cost savings for the store.

The Baltimore project is the first of eight projects totaling 7 MW that DSD will develop for IKEA stores in Maryland and California. The other arrays are on track to be done this year. In January, DSD closed on a $300 million debt facility financed by Credit Suisse. It also hinted that it will have more deals to announce in the near future.

The solar carports are expected to generate a total of 10.7 GWh of electricity per year. Five of the projects include energy storage systems, with a collective capacity of about 5 MWh.

In the United States, the company currently owns 104 wind turbines, two geothermal properties, 240,784 solar panels, and 143 electric vehicle charging stations across 51 properties. Last year, Ingka Group, a partner in the IKEA franchise system, committed more than $700 million to support the shift to a net-zero carbon economy. As part of these efforts, Ingka Group has invested in two solar parks, totaling 403 MW of capacity, in Utah and Texas.

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