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IKEA to use solar energy at distribution center

IKEA announced that its southwestern U.S. distribution center here now incorporates a newly constructed solar energy system. Contracted with California-based REC Solar, the installation represents the second-largest, single-roof commercial system in the state and the sixth-largest in the nation.

The 370,000-sq.-ft. solar array consists of a 1.8 MW system with 7,980 REC Group panels. The system will produce 2.88 million kWh of electric power annually - the equivalent of reducing 1,986 tons of carbon dioxide, eliminating the emissions of 389 cars or powering 241 homes yearly (calculating clean energy equivalents at www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html). This project contributes to the local utility's renewable portfolio goals and lowers the carbon intensity of the electrical grid.

"Having solar panels on the roof of this distribution center demonstrates that the company's sustainable commitment extends beyond our stores into all facets of the retail operations," said Martin Grieder, distribution operations manager for Western North America. "This solar photovoltaic system will reduce significantly the carbon footprint and electricity costs of this facility and will continue the global and U.S. initiative of IKEA to incorporate sustainable practices wherever feasible. We appreciate the support of REC Solar, Kern County and PG&E, our partners in this project."

In the United States, IKEA has solar energy systems operational in four stores with systems currently being installed at nine other locations, including a Denver-area store opening this year in Centennial, Colo. with a geothermal system.

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