IKEA Powers-up Solar Panels at Houston Store

July 11, 2012 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today officially
plugged-in the solar energy system installed at its store in Houston,
Texas – which, when combined with IKEA projects atop stores in Frisco
and Round Rock, will make IKEA the state’s largest solar owner. IKEA
Houston’s 116,400-square-foot PV array consists of a 813-kW system,
built with 3,388 panels. The program will produce approximately
1,152,464 kWh of clean electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing
795 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), eliminating the emissions
of 156 cars or powering 99 homes yearly (calculating clean energy
equivalents at www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html).

“At IKEA Houston, we constantly look for ways to practice and encourage
eco-conscious behavior within the store and throughout the community”

This investment by IKEA reinforces the company’s long-term commitment to
sustainability and confidence in photovoltaic (PV) technology. 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). The Houston
installation represents the 19th completed solar energy
project for IKEA in the United States, with 20 more installations
underway, making the eventual U.S. solar presence of IKEA nearly 89%
with a total generation of 38 MW.

For the development, design and installation of the Houston store’s
customized solar power system, IKEA contracted with REC Solar, one of
the largest U.S. solar electric installers with more than 8,000 systems
built nationwide.

“At IKEA Houston, we constantly look for ways to practice and encourage
eco-conscious behavior within the store and throughout the community,”
said Kim Castillo, marketing responsible for IKEA Houston. “The new
solar panels are an obvious step in the right direction and we are
thrilled about the installation. We appreciate the continued support of
the City of Houston, CenterPoint Energy, and REC Solar, our partners in
this project”

IKEA Houston will hold a Solar Panel Celebration event on Thursday, July
12 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. As part of the festivities, Sunny 99.1 will be
on site handing out free blue bags to the first 156 shoppers to stop by
and say hello in honor of the 156 car emissions being offset by the new
panels. At 11:15 a.m., IKEA will hold an official dedication ceremony
with remarks from Laura Spanjian, Sustainability Director for the City
of Houston, followed by free, fun and educational workshops with Orange
Show Center for Visionary Art.

Sited on 15.6 acres along I-10’s Katy Freeway at Antoine Drive, the
original IKEA Houston opened in July 1992, with a new
300,000-square-foot store opening August 2004. In addition to 10,000
exclusively designed items, this IKEA store presents 54 different
room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play
area and a 350-seat restaurant serving Swedish specialties such as
meatballs with lingonberries and salmon plates, as well as American
dishes. Other family-friendly features include a ‘Children’s IKEA’ area
in the Showroom, baby care rooms, preferred parking and play areas
throughout the store.

IKEA, drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, believes
it can be a good business while doing good business and aims for its
operations to minimize impacts on the environment. Globally, IKEA
evaluates all locations regularly for energy conservation opportunities,
integrates innovative materials into product design, works with Global
Forest Watch to maintain sustainable resources, and flat-packs goods for
efficient distribution. Specific U.S. sustainable efforts include:
recycling waste material (paper, wood, plastic, etc.); incorporating
environmental measures into the construction of buildings in terms of
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 also has
installed electric vehicle charging stations at nine stores in the
Western U.S.

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. IKEA incorporates sustainable efforts into day-to-day business
and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For
more information, go to IKEA-USA.com.

IKEA Houston

IKEA Houston is located on I-10 near Antoine. The 300,000-square-foot
IKEA Houston store originally opened in November 1992 and employs
approximately 300 coworkers. In addition to 10,000 exclusively designed
items, IKEA Houston showcases 54 room-settings, 18 kitchens, three
complete home interiors under 500 square feet, a supervised children’s
play area, and a 350-seat restaurant serving Swedish specialties such as
meatballs with lingonberries and salmon plates, as well as American
dishes. Other family-friendly features include a Children’s IKEA area in
the Showroom, baby care rooms, preferred parking and play areas
throughout the store. Visit www.celebratelifeathome.com.

IKEA

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. IKEA incorporates sustainable efforts 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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