14 May 2014 — Furniture retailer IKEA has announced it will install solar photovoltaic systems on all East Coast stores, and in doing so will create the largest commercial solar project in Australia.
The program will see more than 16,000 panels installed this year, with a capacity of 3.93 megawatts and an estimated annual output of 5.5 gigawatt hours of electricity – enough to power 778 homes, with a reduction in carbon emissions of 5660 tonnes a year.
The panels will be fitted throughout this year on five stores in Queensland, NSW and Victoria, as well as two merchandise pick-up locations.
IKEA also announced four new stores to open in the next two years – in Canberra, Victoria, Queensland and Marsden Park in Sydney – which will all be built with solar PV systems. Construction on Canberra’s 25,800 square metre Majura Parkway development is set to begin this year, with 4000 solar panels estimated to produce 1GWh of electricity.
Solar companies Canadian Solar and Kingspan will handle the installation of the existing stores, expected to cover more than 32,000 square metres of space.
The program, which started in April in Logan in Queensland will continue into the year, finishing with the Springvale store in Melbourne.
IKEA Australia sustainability manager Richard Wilson said the move would strengthen the company’s environmental efforts.
“There are some 550,000 solar panels installed on IKEA buildings worldwide, enough to provide the annual electricity needs of 20,300 homes,” Mr Wilson said. “By maximising renewable energy, we are able to reduce our carbon footprint, contribute to a healthier environment – and work towards our global ambition of being energy independent by 2020.”
Specific store solar program details:
- Logan store: 2470 panels x 300W = 741kW
- Logan external warehouse: 160 panels x 300W = 48kW
- Rhodes: 1728 panels x 250W = 432kW
- Rhodes external warehouse: 160 panels x 300W = 48kW
- Richmond: 2364 panels x 305W = 721kW
- Springvale: 3060 panels x 310W =950kW
- Tempe: 3960 panels x 250W = 990kW