Home furnishings retailer IKEA this week switched on a large solar energy system installed at its distribution center in Perryville, Md.
The 768,972-square-foot photovoltaic (PV) array consists of a 2,674.9-kilowatt system, built with 18,576 panels, and is the state’s largest rooftop array. The IKEA distribution center will produce about 3,397,178 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing 2,397 tons of carbon dioxide, eliminating the emissions of 499 cars or powering 359 homes yearly.
The 1.7 million-square-foot IKEA distribution center in Perryville started operations in 2002, employs about 550 workers, and helps provide inventory to many U.S. IKEA stores.
This PV installation represents the 36th completed solar project for IKEA in the United States, with three more locations underway, making the eventual U.S. solar presence of IKEA nearly 90 percent of its U.S. locations with a total generation of 38 megawatts of power.
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 $1.8 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2015.
Consistent with the company’s goal of being energy independent by 2020, IKEA has installed more than 250,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and owns or operates about 110 wind turbines in Europe.