IKEA installs solar-energy system at West Chester store

WEST CHESTER, OH (FOX19) - IKEA has officially plugged-in the solar energy system installed at its West Chester store.

The 128,000-square-foot PV array consists of a 1,026-kW system, built with 4,186 panels. The program will produce approximately 1,334,300 kWh of clean electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing 1,014 tons of carbon dioxide, eliminating the emissions of 180 cars or powering 115 homes yearly.

This investment by IKEA reinforces the company's long-term commitment to sustainability and confidence in photovoltaic (PV) technology.  IKEA owns and operates each of its solar PV energy systems atop its buildings – as opposed to a solar lease or PPA (power purchase agreement) – and this West Chester installation represents the 14th completed solar energy project for IKEA in the United States, with 23 more locations underway.

For the development, design and installation of the West Chester store's customized solar power system, IKEA contracted with REC Solar, one of the largest U.S. solar electric installers with more than 8,000 systems built nationwide.

"Our mission is to create a better everyday life for the many people, and at IKEA West Chester, we just added to this effort," said Heather Spatz, IKEA West Chester store manager.  "A solar energy system will help reduce our store's carbon footprint and represents another investment toward our future in this community.  We appreciate the support of West Chester Township, Butler County, Duke Energy, and REC Solar, our partners in this project."

Copyright 2012 FOX19. All Rights Reserved.