Solar Roundup: IKEA, SunPower, D.C.’s Largest PV Array
Ikea installed a 1.6 MW solar energy system on the rooftop of its central Texas store in Round Rock, its 33rd rooftop PV project in the US. The 273,700-square-foot PV array is built with 6,664 panels, making it the largest of all Ikea solar installations atop its US stores. The Ikea Round Rock installation will produce about 2,398,500 kWh of electricity annually, the equivalent of cutting 1,822 tons of carbon dioxide. When combined with Ikea projects atop stores in Houston and the Dallas area, the array makes the home furnishing retailer Texas’s largest solar owner.
Ikea also installed a 941 kW system on top of its store in New Haven, Conn. That project is the state’s largest PV array. The 118,000-square-foot array is built with 3,920 panels and will produce about 1,099,800 kWh of electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing 836 tons of CO2. The New Haven, Conn., and Round Rock, Texas installations are Ikea’s 32nd and 33rd completed solar projects in the US. Ikea has six more solar projects underway.
SunPower is installing 3.7 MW of solar electric systems at six schools in the Porterville Unified School District in California. The systems are expected to reduce the district’s electricity costs by $44 million over the next 25 years, SunPower said. SunPower is installing ground-mounted solar arrays as well as solar shade structures in the school parking lots. The district’s systems were financed through Qualified School Construction Bonds, which allows them to own the systems and receive the full benefit of the energy cost savings and incentive payments. PUSD’s solar power systems will avoid nearly 120,000 tons of CO2 emissions over the next 30 years, the equivalent of removing about 20,000 cars from California’s roads, according to estimates from the EPA.
On Friday the Catholic University of America dedicated the largest solar PV system in the District of Columbia, an array with more than 2,600 panels generating more than 830,000 kWh of electricity a year. The solar energy system, which was installed by Standard Solar of Rockville, Maryland, includes a canopy of 714 panels over more than 70 parking spaces. The PV system is owned and operated by Washington Gas Energy Systems as part of a 20-year power purchasing agreement with Catholic University.
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