IKEA Is Powering Its Australian Stores With Solar Energy

Everyone's favourite Swedish furniture store is getting a green makeover. With a Queensland store already well on the way to its maximum PV potential of 741kW using almost 2500 solar panels, solar programs for four NSW and Victoria retail warehouses, and four new stores planned for construction with solar, IKEA will be the nation's largest solar business.

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The Fifth Estate reports that the IKEA solar PV rollout will be Australia's largest commercial solar project. With the Logan store in Queensland already running solar panels on both the retail premises and its external warehouse — 2630 solar cells producing maximum photovoltaic power of 789kW — the pilot program is apparently a resounding success, and the company has committed to installing the same technology on almost all of its other six Australian stores.

Over 16,000 solar panels will be installed on IKEA stores across Australia this year — that's 3.93MW of solar capacity, and the potential to produce 5.5GWh of electricity every year. This is enough energy to provide power to around 800 Australian homes, which is a drop in the ocean compared to IKEA's total worldwide solar PV capacity of 20,300 houses.

IKEA in Australia won't be able to disconnect from the grid entirely just yet; it's aiming to be energy independent by 2020. The largest solar rollout within Australia's stores will initially be Tempe in Sydney's inner west, with 3960 panels and 990kW capacity, but that'll be eclipsed by the new Canberra store's 4000 panels and 1MW. [The Fifth Estate]

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