Distributed Solar Development (DSD) has completed a custom solar carport designed and built for IKEA Baltimore. Initial results exceeded expectations with the location seeing an 84% decrease in the amount of energy needed to be purchased between September – December 2020, equating to a 57% cost savings for the store.
This is the first of eight projects that DSD will develop for IKEA U.S. stores in Maryland and California, which are on track to be completed in 2021. The projects will help the IKEA reach its goal of being powered by 100% renewable energy while increasing energy efficiency by 2025.
“IKEA is a clear environmental leader that sets the bar high for other global organizations,” says Erik Schiemann, CEO at DSD. “We’ve helped IKEA maximize its solar energy generation and expand its solar storage capacity, and we’re currently reviewing additional facilities for future solar project locations. With each installation, IKEA moves closer to its ambitious sustainability goals and we’re glad to be a part of that mission.”
The additional seven locations include IKEA College Park in Maryland, as well as IKEA Burbank, Costa Mesa, East Palo Alto, Emeryville, San Diego and West Sacramento in California. When completed, the eight solar carports will collectively provide roughly 10.7 gigawatt hours of yearly production – the equivalent to taking 1,644 cars off the road for one year and planting over 125,000 new trees.
DSD’s unique canopy designs enable longer spans of canopy that are more energy-dense and require fewer support beams than other solutions on the market, which reduces costs and causes less disruption of available parking spaces.
Five of the eight projects include energy storage systems (ESS) with a collective capacity of about 5 megawatt hours. This system allows solar energy to be stored for later use, making clean energy available whenever it’s needed by retail stores. Large retail sites such as IKEA’s are often ideal candidates for combined solar and storage because of their fixed operating hours and predictable use patterns.
“At IKEA, we aim to have a positive impact on people and planet, which is why sustainability is embedded in every part of our business. We currently have 54 rooftop solar arrays atop 90% of our IKEA U.S. locations and Ingka Group, a strategic partner in the IKEA franchise system, has invested in two solar parks with 403-megawatt capacity in Utah and Texas. This addition of eight solar car parks is the latest in a series of investments IKEA has made in renewable energy, and marks a significant step forward in our goals to be climate positive,” says Jennifer Keesson, Country Sustainability Manager, IKEA Retail U.S.
IKEA has long been committed to investing in renewable energy to meet its sustainability goal of becoming climate positive by 2030. In the U.S., the company currently owns 104 wind turbines, two geothermal properties, 240,784 solar panels and 143 EV charging stations across 51 properties. In 2020, Ingka Group committed to investing 600M EUR (more than $700 million) into companies, solutions and its own operations to transition to a net-zero carbon economy.
— Solar Builder magazine