IKEA Plans Largest Rooftop Solar in Kansas

Swedish retailer IKEA plans to install 2,850 solar panels on one of its stores in Merriam.
Published: Tue 24 Jun 2014

The solar panels on the new Merriam store will be capable of generating enough electricity to power 128 homes.

IKEA has chosen SoCore Energy of Chicago to design and install its solar roof. SoCore was been described as one of the largest solar developers in the nation.

The 92,000-square-foot rooftop array is being described as the largest in Kansas. Installation will begin as soon as the roof of the new store is completed which is set for end June this year.

According to officials at the Swedish retailer, that the solar panels will generate 1.35 million kilowatt hours of energy and reduce the store’s potential carbon dioxide emissions by 930 tons annually.

IKEA’s sustainability commitment

IKEA has already installed a geothermal component to its heating and cooling system for the 359,000-square-foot store which is under construction at Johnson Drive and Interstate 35 in the US.

“We are excited about furthering our sustainability commitment with solar panels on the future Merriam store,” Rob Parsons, the new store manager, said in a statement, “As is the case with geothermal, solar energy will reduce greatly the store’s energy needs and carbon footprint as well as contribute to our vision of creating a better everyday life for many.”

IKEA going off-grid

IKEA is moving full force off the grid. The retailer has installed solar energy systems at 90% of its US locations. Worldwide, the company has installed more than 550,000 solar panels on its buildings worldwide and has solar energy and wind power at most of its stores in the US, Canada and Europe.

They will soon hold the number two spot for the largest solar owner and user in the US. The recently acquired Hoopeston Wind Farm will completely offset their US operations and put them off the grid.

“It’s about taking care of the environment and living within our means,” explains Rob Olson, Chief Financial Officer of IKEA, “We invest in our own renewable energy sources so that we can control our exposure to fluctuating electricity costs and continue providing great value to our customers.”