Bolstering California’s credibility as a leading state in solar power, IKEA has plans to install solar energy panels on eight of its California locations, while McDonald’s has installed solar panels at its restaurant in Riverside as part of its quest for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
IKEA’s eight buildings — seven stores and one distribution center — comprise nearly 90 percent of IKEA’s facilities in California, and the solar power installations will produce 4.5 megawatts (MW) of capacity. Together, the solar installations will generate an annual output of 6.65 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity. This is equivalent to reducing 5,268 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), says IKEA.
The installation, comprised of nearly 20,000 panels, is expected to start in late Fall, with completion expected in early 2011.
The home furnishings retailer will install panels at its three stores in Northern California (East Palo Alto, Emeryville and West Sacramento), four stores in southern California (Burbank, Costa Mesa, Covina and San Diego) and at its distribution center in Tejon – claimed as one of the top ten largest rooftop commercial systems in the U.S.
IKEA has contracted with Gloria Solar, which recently completed a 600-kW program at IKEA Tempe, Ariz., and currently is constructing the largest U.S. commercial project, a 5-MW land mount in Arizona, according to the retailer. For the Tejon distribution center, the largest IKEA U.S. building, IKEA contracted with REC Solar for the second largest single-roof commercial system in California.
In the United States, IKEA already has solar energy systems operational in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; and Tempe, Ariz. as well as solar water heating systems in Charlotte, N.C.; Draper, Utah, Orlando, Fla. and Tampa, Fla. The Centennial, Colo. store under construction will have a geothermal system.
A rebuilt McDonald’s restaurant in Riverside, Calif., has installed 294 photovoltaic panels as part of its sustainability efforts. This is the restaurant chain’s fourth in the U.S. to seek LEED Gold certification.
The 44-year-old McDonald’s restaurant reopened with a host of sustainable and energy-efficient features including light-colored hardscape to reduce heat emissions from site, native drought tolerant plants to reduce water consumption by landscape, and low-flow plumbing fixtures to reduce water use, and recycled denim insulation inside the building.
The restaurant also features an interactive touch screen display for visitors to learn about the building, environmental sustainability, and how individuals can reduce their carbon footprint.
Other LEED-certified McDonald’s restaurants are located in Cary, N.C., Savannah, Ga. and Chicago. The Riverside restaurant expects to receive LEED certification within one year.
McDonald’s also recently installed a Solar Grove and a CleanCharge vehicle charging system for diners at its San Diego location.