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IKEA powers-up solar energy systems in more stores

IKEA, a leading home furnishings retailer, recently plugged-in a solar energy system at its San Gabriel Valley store in Covina, Calif.

"Our mission is to create a better everyday life for many people, and at IKEA Covina, we just added to this effort," said Kristien Verbeke, IKEA Covina store manager. "A solar energy system will help reduce our store's carbon footprint and represents another investment toward our future in this community. We appreciate the continued support of the City of Covina, Southern California Edison, and Gloria Solar, our partners in this project."

IKEA Covina's program will produce approximately 651,800 kWh of clean electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing 495 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), eliminating the emissions of 88 cars or powering 55 homes yearly.

This investment by IKEA to purchase its solar photovoltaic energy system with Gloria Solar modules and to install and operate it atop the Covina store it owns, will lower the carbon intensity of the electrical grid. It also represents the 12th completed solar energy project for IKEA in the United States. Additional installations currently are underway at eight more locations in the eastern United States.

This project is the second IKEA installation in the 50,000-square-mile service area of Southern California Edison, the utility providing electric power to approximately 14 million people throughout Southern California.

On Sept. 21, IKEA plugged-in the solar energy system at its East Bay store in Emeryville, Calif. That 68,000-sq.-ft. PV array consists of a 538-kW system with about 2,394 panels to produce about 760,000 kWh of clean electricity each year.

"We are thrilled at how this solar energy system furthers our sustainability commitment at IKEA Emeryville," said Patrick Choa, IKEA Emeryville store manager. "We constantly ask ourselves how we can improve what we do today for a better tomorrow."

Drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, IKEA strives 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, phasing out the sale of incandescent light bulbs and facilitating recycling of customers' compact fluorescent bulbs.

Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings of good design and function at affordable prices. There are currently more than 320 IKEA stores in 39 countries, including 38 in the United States. 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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