The 3,546 solar panels installed on top of IKEA’s new Columbus location will supply the building with 1,447,700 kWh of electricity annually. This means 1,017 tons of carbon dioxide will not be emitted into the atmosphere. To put it into perspective, according to the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator it would take 963 acres of U.S. forest an entire year to absorb all the carbon dioxide that these solar panels will be saving.
The system was finished a little over a week ago, and today I got the chance to climb up on the roof and see the solar panels for myself. After climbing several flights of stairs and catching my breath, IKEA Loyalty Manager Derrek Shively led me out onto the rooftop. And what I found was a technological marvel.
REC Solar, a commercial solar energy installation company based out of California, was selected to complete the 46th solar project for the home furnishings retailer. Nearly 90% of all of IKEA’s U.S. stores run on solar energy and the company has installed 700,000 solar panels on buildings across the world. The company owns around 300 wind turbines, and over 100 of them can be found in the United States.
“Completing the solar installation is another exciting and sustainable step in the progress towards opening the future IKEA Columbus,” said David Garcia, store manager. “IKEA strives to create a sustainable life for communities where we operate, and IKEA Columbus is adding to this goal with one of Ohio’s largest rooftop solar arrays.”
Sweden, where IKEA was founded, has always been a pioneer in environmental protection and an innovator in environment-related technology. The country is working towards sustainability, and IKEA is bringing the same idea to America.
Other ways IKEA promotes a sustainable lifestyle is by selling only LED light bulbs, flat-packing its products for optimal shipping, installing water-conserving restrooms in its stores and more.
IKEA Columbus will open this summer. The 354,000-square-foot store offers 1,200 parking spaces and rests on 33 acres of land.
It was a rather gloomy morning, but the future of Columbus IKEA looks bright.
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