Colorado IKEA lights up solar energy system

IKEA officially plugged in the solar energy system installed at its future Denver-area store opening July 27, 2011, in Centennial, Colo.  

The 60,000-sq.-ft. array consists of a 498-kW system, built with 2,212 panels.  

IKEA Centennial’s solar program will produce approximately 740,000 kWh of electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing at least 564 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), eliminating the emissions of 100 cars or powering 62 homes yearly.

“We are thrilled at how this solar energy system furthers our sustainability commitment at this future IKEA store,” said Kelly Frieze, store manager.

The project -- the largest single-use rooftop array on a commercial building in Colorado -- will contribute to the local utility’s renewable portfolio goals and lower the carbon intensity of the electrical grid. With this Centennial effort, IKEA now has six solar PV programs in the United States, with installations pending at eight other stores. IKEA Centennial also will be the first U.S. IKEA store to incorporate a geothermal system for heating/cooling the building. 

IKEA contracted with California-based REC Solar, one of the largest U.S. solar electric providers with more than 6,000 systems built nationwide, including 16MW in the commercial retail sector in the past two years. REC Solar specializes in grid-tied solar electric design and installation, and offers the latest technology, state-of-the-art equipment and financing opportunities for all commercial and residential customers.