STOUGHTON, Mass., May 08 – IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today officially plugged-in the solar energy system installed at its store in Stoughton, Massachusetts. The 118,000-square-foot PV array consists of a 590.8-kW (DC) system, built with 4,220 laminated panels. IKEA Stoughton’s program will produce approximately 695,000 kWh of clean electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing 479 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), eliminating the emissions of 94 cars or powering 60 homes yearly (calculating clean energy equivalents at www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html).
This installation represents the 38th completed solar project for IKEA in the U.S., with one more location underway, making the eventual IKEA solar presence nearly 90% of its U.S. locations, 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 $1.8 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2015. This investment reinforces the long-term commitment of IKEA to sustainability and confidence in photovoltaic (PV) technology. 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/operates approximately 110 wind turbines in Europe.
For the development, design and installation of the Stoughton 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 9,000 systems built across the U.S.
“We at IKEA believe in the never-ending job of improving the sustainability of our day-to-day business,” said Frank Briel, store manager. “The Stoughton coworkers are excited to help contribute to this goal with our newly operational solar energy system. We appreciate the support of the Town of Stoughton, National Grid and REC 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. 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. U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material; incorporating key measures into buildings with energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, warehouse skylights, and water-conserving restrooms; and operationally, eliminating plastic bags from the check-out process, phasing-out the sale of incandescent light bulbs, facilitating recycling compact fluorescent bulbs, and by 2016 selling and using only L.E.D. bulbs. IKEA also installed electric vehicle charging stations at nine stores in the Western U.S.
Located on 27 acres along Route 24 near Central Street (Exit 19B), the 347,000-s.f. IKEA Stoughton opened in November 2005 and employs approximately 400 coworkers. In addition to 10,000 exclusively designed items, IKEA Stoughton presents 50 different room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area, and a 450-seat restaurant. Other family-friendly features include a ‘Children’s IKEA’ area in the Showroom, baby care rooms, play areas throughout the store, and preferred parking. IKEA Stoughton was awarded LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council and hosts a green roof atop the store adjacent to where the solar panels now are. IKEA also has applied to extend the warehouse of this store.
Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA 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 340 IKEA stores in 41 countries, including 38 in the U.S. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information, see IKEA-USA.com.