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Ikea takes sunny approach to Vegas store energy


Ikea plans to install a solar energy system atop its Las Vegas store, opening summer 2016.

Panel installation will begin this winter, with completion expected in spring for what Ikea says will be the largest single-use rooftop solar array by a retailer in the state of Nevada. The 351,000-sq.-ft. future Ikea Las Vegas, and 1,300 parking spaces, currently is under construction.

The store’s 240,504-sq.-ft. solar array will consist of a 1.14 MW system, built with 3,620 panels, and will produce approximately 1,750,000 kWh of electricity annually for the store, the equivalent of reducing 1,207 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). This is equal to the emissions of 254 cars or providing electricity for 166 homes yearly.

For the development, design and installation of Ikea Las Vegas’ customized solar power system, Ikea selected Helix Electric, and R&O Construction is managing the site work and building of the actual store.

“We are excited about furthering our sustainability commitment with solar panels on the future Las Vegas store,” said Lars Petersson, Ikea U.S. president. “At Ikea, we have a mission to create a better everyday life for the many, and Ikea Las Vegas can add to this goal with Nevada’s largest rooftop solar array.”

This installation will represent the 43rd solar project for Ikea in the U.S., contributing to the Ikea solar presence atop nearly 90% of its U.S. locations, with a total generation goal of 40 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 $1.9 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2015.

Consistent with the goal of being energy independent by 2020, Ikea has installed more than 700,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and owns approximately 300 wind turbines, including 104 in the U.S.

Other specific U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material; incorporating environmental measures into the actual buildings with 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, and selling only LED bulbs. Ikea has installed electric vehicle charging stations at 13 stores, with more locations planned.

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