IKEA Canada claims its new solar initiative will make it the first retailer to exclusively own, install and operate what will be the largest rooftop solar panel network in Ontario under the feed-in tariff (FIT) program. The retailer will invest $4.6 million to install rooftop solar panels at three of its Ontario stores in Etobicoke, North York and Vaughan. They are expected to be fully operational by the end of the year.
IKEA Canada says it will currently own what is believed to be the largest rooftop solar installation by a retailer in Canada.
In total, the three stores will install 3,790 solar panels, which will generate a total of about 960,000 kWh per year of renewable energy that will be fed back into the grid.
IKEA Canada will use SANYO HIT Power solar panels and has selected AMP Solar for the installations at all three locations. The retailer has received contracts from the Ontario Power Authority and qualifies for the FIT program under Ontario’s Green Energy Act.
These Ontario installations will help IKEA meet its global commitment of 150 solar installations over the next three years. IKEA customers will have access to real-time energy production information, and will be able to quantify carbon emission reductions via in-store kiosks.
In the U.S., IKEA plans to install a solar energy system that will generate about one million kWh of electricity at its retail store in Tempe, Arizona. Scheduled to start in May, the 46,000-sq.-ft. installation will consist of two 300-kWh systems, each built with approximately 1,300 panels (for a total 2,600).
This is IKEA’s third solar project in the U.S. One system is operational in Pittsburgh, Pa., and the other installation is underway in Brooklyn, N.Y.