Ikea Charlotte has completed installation and “plugged in” the 1.1-megawatt solar-energy system atop its store in the University area, according to a news release from the Swedish home-furnishings retailer.
The 122,000-square-foot photovoltaic array consists of 4,228 solar panels on the roof of the 356,000-square-foot store. The system is expected to produce 1.3 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, enough to power about 140 homes, Ikea says in its news release.
With the completion of the Charlotte project, the company has solar installations on 39 of its 44 U.S. facilities.
Ikea owns and operates the systems on its store rooftops, as opposed to a more common solar lease program or power-purchase agreement. The company has a goal of being energy-independent by 2020, and its solar installations as well as more than 100 wind turbines it has in Europe are part of that initiative.
“The installation of solar panels at Ikea Charlotte is another way we can build upon our ongoing commitment to sustainability,” says Richard Castanon, Charlotte store manager. “At Ikea, we believe in creating a better every life for the many people, so investing in renewable energy helps contribute to that goal.”
The company contracted with Gehrlicher Solar America Corp. for the development, design and installation of the Charlotte store’s solar-power system. Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE:DUK) is also a partner on the project; state law requires that excess power produced by such systems be sold to the resident utility.
The store, which opened in 2009, is located on 25 acres off Interstate 85 in northeast Charlotte.