IKEA recently announced the completion of South Florida’s largest solar array that will provide clean energy for its Miami-Dade store, which opens this summer in the city of Sweetwater, Fla. adjacent to the Dolphin Mall and west of Miami International Airport.
Thanks to IKEA’s rooftop arrays in Orlando, Tampa and Sunrise, combined with the 1,178-kW system atop the Sweetwater facility, the home furnishings retailer holds the title of the largest non-utility solar owner in Florida.
The 416,000 square-foot IKEA Miami, with 1,500 parking spaces, is being built on 14.6 acres. The photovoltaic array serving the retail complex represents the 40th solar project for the Sweden-based company in the U.S. Instead of entering power purchase agreements, the company chose to become the exclusive owner of each of its rooftop systems, operating at nearly 90% of all IKEA locations over the nation, generating an aggregate rate of 38 megawatts. The company has installed more than 550,000 solar panels on buildings across the world with the goal of becoming energy independent by 2020. Accordingly, IKEA has allocated $1.8 billion globally to invest in renewable energy through 2015.
REC Solar, a company involved in the design and installation of over 350 PV systems over the United States, served as contractor of the project. The 4,620 panels at the 178,000-square-foot array will develop approximately 1,73 GWh of electricity for the store every year. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s official calculations, that is the equivalent of the annual consumption of almost 170 homes or reducing 1,227 tons of CO2, the emissions of more than 250 cars every year.
Rendering courtesy of IKEA