Ikea unpacking renewable energy objective

Solar energy system installed at Ikea Detroit-area store in Michigan, US

Swedish furniture giant Ikea is installing solar 3.9MW of solar panels on the rooftops of each of its seven Australian warehouses.

One of the world’s largest solar companies, Canadian Solar Inc, is responsible for the rollout of more than 16,000 panels and, with the help of Kingspan, it will be the largest commercial solar PV project completed in Australia.

Canadian Solar Inc chief executive officer Dr Shawn Qu said the project is complex and involved an advanced understanding of Australian grid codes.

The five retail outlets and two merchandise locations will have a combined output of 5.5GW hours of electricity, which could power 778 average households each year. It’s estimated this will lead to a reduction of 5660 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

Ikea announced it has allocated $2 billion (US) for wind and solar energy employment up until 2015, with the aim to be totally powered by renewable energy by 2020.

Ikea Australia sustainability manager Richard Wilson said the company has a long-term approach to sustainability.

“Globally, our ambition is to switch to renewable energy to become energy independent by 2020 and we’re well on the way,” he said.

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