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Clint Engel

Ikea adding solar panels to 10 more U.S. locations

Ikea plans to install solar energy panels on nine U.S. stores and a distribution center in the South, in a move that should give the retailer solar energy at 33 U.S. facilities by the middle of next year.

Pending government permits, installation will begin this winter and will be completed by next summer at its stores in Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; Frisco, Houston, and Round Rock, Texas; Orlando, Sunrise and Tampa, Fla.; and Woodbridge, Va., and at is distribution center in Savannah, Ga. The giant home furnishings retailer did not disclose its investment.

Together, the 10 locations will have 10.7 megawatts of solar generating capacity, nearly 45,360 panels, and a projected annual electricity output of 15,248,334 kilowatt hours, the company said. That's the equivalent of reducing carbon emissions from 2,060 cars or powering 1,310 homes, it said.

The retailer will own and operate each of the solar energy systems atop its buildings.

"This investment by Ikea reinforces the company's long-term commitment to sustainability and confidence in photovoltaic technology," Ikea said in a release.

The retailer already has 12 U.S. solar energy systems operating and 11 more under way. Adding the new systems will give Ikea a solar presence in 75% of its U.S. locations and will increase its solar generating capacity of about 26.8 megawatts.

"Ikea believes we can be a good business while doing good business," said Mike Ward, U.S. president for the Top 100 company.

Other Ikea sustainability efforts include recycling of waste, phasing out the sale of incandescent light bulbs and eliminating plastic bags from the check-out process. The company also incorporates environmental measures into building construction, with energy-efficient heating, air and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas and water-conserving restrooms.

The Sweden-based retailer has more than 330 stores in 40 countries, including 38 in the United States.

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