Ikea announces huge solar investment in Spain
The Swedish group has already announced what they will do and when they plan to finalise this initiative. Through Ikea’s investment division Ignka Group, IKEA will invest more than €100 million in Spain. It plans to purchase five solar energy projects that are expected to be operational by 2023.
This investment in solar energy is part of an alliance with Enerparc. This also includes an investment in Germany for the purchase of another four solar parks. In total, Spain’s capacity will be approximately 140 MW, with an estimated production of 260 GWh per year.
Investing in solar energy in Spain is a great opportunity
This is Ikea’s first major solar investment in Spain. The five projects will be distributed between the Valencian Community, Andalucia, and Castilla La Mancha. The plan is to start construction between late 2022 and early 2023 and be operational next year. In total, Ikea expects to complete construction in about 6 months.
The production of these solar parks is equivalent to the electricity consumption of 65,000 Spanish homes, as the company describes itself. The goal is to have the entire company use renewable energy by 2030. And according to what Ikea itself says, the solar energy produced from these five solar farms will be equal to everything their stores consume.
To date, Ignka Group has 10 solar parks and 935,000 solar panels on the roofs of shops and warehouses. At the moment, the investment in solar energy in Spain amounted to approximately €11 million. These were spent on installing solar panels in all stores. The result, as described by Ikea, is that 85.2% of the energy consumed in Spain is renewable.
Early last year, Elon Musk assured us that Tesla’s solar roof would arrive in Europe around this time. However, as yet, it hasn’t happened.
Spain can provide all of Europe with solar energy
On Tuesday, a statement by Musk became a trending topic – something that happens often – when he gave Spain the following advice. Elon Musk believes that Spain should invest even more in solar energy and that the country has what it takes to provide all of Europe with energy. This statement by Musk also influenced the stock market: Shortly after his tweet, sustainable energy companies were among the biggest risers on the Spanish stock exchange.
Ikea continues its renewables push with Illinois’ largest rooftop solar array
What is expected to be Illinois’ largest rooftop solar array is under construction in Joliet, but it isn’t the initiative of a utility or solar company. Instead, the system will be paid for and owned by Swedish retailer Ikea as the company boosts its overall renewable energy portfolio.
The array, which will sit atop the company’s new Midwest distribution center about 45 miles southwest of Chicago, will have a capacity of 2.91 megawatts (MW) and consist of almost 9,000 panels spanning 470,545 square feet, according to Ikea. It is expected to produce 3.4 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year to be consumed onsite at the facility, which will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2,398 tons per year. That’s the equivalent of taking 506 cars off the road annually, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse-gas equivalencies calculator. Construction is expected to be completed in the fall.
“Reflecting our Swedish heritage, Ikea has a strong commitment to protecting the environment and incorporating sustainability into our day-to-day operations wherever and whenever possible,” says Ikea spokesperson Joseph Roth. “As part of that we evaluate all new buildings for potential renewable energy generation onsite and that includes geothermal and solar.”
Ikea is just one of many businesses making significant investments in renewable energy and Smart-grid products in Illinois. And this isn’t Ikea’s first rooftop solar array in the state. Its two Chicagoland stores in Schaumburg and Bollingbrook also generate solar power onsite.
Across the country, Ikea has solar atop 90 percent of its locations, the company says, with a total capacity of more than 40 MW. In 2016, the U.S. had a total installed solar capacity of 42 gigawatts, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
Every morning, thousands of energy professionals turn to our newsletters for the day’s most important news. Sign up for free to get the latest delivered straight to your inbox.
Because of their large roofs and relatively limited electricity demand, distribution facilities are a particularly ideal site for rooftop solar, which can provide anywhere between 60 and 90 percent of a site’s power consumption, Roth says. The remaining electricity is supplied by the electric grid.
“Consumption at a distribution center is much less than in a store, but the generation is much higher,” Roth says. “So it’s a very successful model for us.”
Private businesses and institutions across the country have increased investments in renewables and Smart-grid technologies in recent years, and they are expected to continue to do so, even if federal clean-energy funding and tax credits are rolled back under the Trump administration.
In Illinois, several high-profile companies outside the traditional energy industry have spent considerable time and money on projects that effectively make them an extension of a more distributed, renewable-based power grid.
The Illinois Institute of Technology, a private research university on Chicago’s South Side, is home to a 9-MW microgrid consisting of a wind turbine, natural-gas turbines, battery storage and other advanced power systems. It enables the campus to completely island itself from the broader grid during power outages, which the school says has helped it save about 1 million annually in operating costs.
A rooftop solar array and a recently installed energy storage system help keep the lights on and the water temperature just right at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium. which is known more for its acrobatic dolphins and waddling penguins than it is for its Smart-energy systems. Shedd’s battery offers the aquarium the ability to sell stored electricity back to the broader grid, making the facility a node on an expanding and evolving power grid.
In 2013, Chicago-based pharmacy chain Walgreens debuted a “Net Zero Energy Retail Store” in Evanston. When completed, the store — which has two wind turbines, nearly 850 solar panels and a geothermal system that stretches 550 feet into the ground — was estimated to consume 200,000 kilowatt-hours per year while generating 220,000 kilowatt-hours per year, for a net gain of 20,000 kilowatt-hours.
“Our purpose as a company is to help people get, stay and live well, and that includes making our planet more livable by conserving resources and reducing pollution,” Mark Wagner, Walgreens president of operations and community management, said in a statement at the time.
For its part, Ikea aims to run on 100 percent renewable energy by 2020, and it has pledged to invest 2.5 billion in renewable energy through the end of the decade. While many corporations lease solar installations from power companies via power purchase agreements, or they purchase renewable energy credits to offset carbon-based power, Ikea instead owns and operates each of its rooftop solar arrays, the company says.
The company has also built a major geothermal system at its store near Kansas City to meet its heating and cooling needs there.
Ikea also owns 104 wind turbines in the U.S. — 49 of which are in Hoopeston in central Illinois near the Indiana border. The farm, which began generating power in March 2015, has a capacity of 98 MW, roughly enough to power more than 30,000 homes per year, depending on wind conditions.
“Between [the] three solar installations and the wind farm,” Roth says, “we definitely own a lot of renewable energy generation in the state of Illinois.”
David J. Unger
David started writing for Midwest Energy News in 2016. His work has also appeared in InsideClimate News, The Atlantic, McClatchy DC and other outlets. Previously, he was the energy editor at The Christian Science Monitor in Boston, where he wrote and edited stories about the global energy transition toward cleaner fuels.
Ikea Has Renewable Energy Than It Can Use, and That’s Just the Beginning
As an early adopter of rooftop solar. Ikea is always worth watching for innovative, energy-centric approaches to retailing, and the latest news from the company could ripple out to influence other retailers, too. Last week, Ikea’s parent company, Ingka Group, announced that its wind and solar assets generate more far more energy than it needs for its own operations. 132 percent more, to be exact. That’s just part of the story, though, as the company enlists its customers and partners in decarbonization as well.
Renewable energy for the whole community
Rooftop solar panels have provided Ikea with a high-visibility, newsworthy avenue for decarbonization, but the more significant driver of the company’s renewable energy efforts is its investment in sprawling offsite wind and solar farms.
For example, last week Ikea Canada noted that its rooftop solar panels have combined with the two wind farms it has purchased in Alberta to produce four times the amount of energy consumed by its stores.
The impressive achievement far exceeds Ingka Group’s overall mark of 132 percent, but the rooftop solar panels don’t seem to have played a significant role. When Ikea Canada purchased its second wind farm in 2017, the company noted that those two farms alone would account for more than four times the energy it consumes across Canada.
Ikea Canada could realize even more renewable energy benefits from those two wind farms in the future. The 2017 purchase involved a wind farm that went into service in 2011, and Ikea Canada purchased its other Alberta wind farm in 2013. Wind technology has improved since then, and older wind farms are being repowered with new turbines to generate even more electricity. When Ikea Canada’s wind farms are due for an overhaul, their output could increase significantly.
Ikea moving beyond rooftop solar
Rooftop solar still has great value as source of carbon-free electricity and as a resiliency buffer. By investing in rooftop solar, retailers can also help promote public support for renewable energy. even in areas where state policymakers have been resistant.
However, Ikea’s message for other leading retailers is that the macro world of Rapid global decarbonization demands an approach that reaches beyond the roof.
General Motors provides another such example. Like Ikea, the auto manufacturer was an early adopter of rooftop solar on its own properties. The automaker has also recognized the limitations of relying on one’s own rooftops, so it has been investing in wind farms.
In addition, GM has been helping to accelerate renewable energy development as a founding member of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance. and by supporting the clean power program of the Michigan utility and energy company DTE.
Those efforts are of a piece with the company’s decision to transfer its fleet to electric drive. All else being equal, GM customers and other adopters of electric vehicles (EVs) will put new demands on the electricity grid, making it imperative to accelerate renewable energy development.
Drilling into decarbonization, one plant-based “ meatball ” at a time
That FOCUS on the customer’s relationship to energy is also part of the Ikea model. Ingka Group’s latest sustainability report takes note of a suite of programs aimed at encouraging decarbonization by individual customers, including introduction of the new plant-based “ Swedish meatballs, ” a renewed FOCUS on marketing as-is and second-hand furnishings as well as the “Better Living” app for energy, water and waste.
Ingka Group also encourages household decarbonization through several market pathways, including its Ikea Home Solar operations and its involvement in the Big Clean Switch renewable energy campaign.
Joining forces for Rapid decarbonization
One area in which Ingka Group seeks to accelerate its progress is electric vehicle adoption. The company has been testing EV delivery prototypes. but describes the rollout as “slower than expected.”
As it turns out, Ingka Group might end up getting some help from GM. Last year, Ikea was among the stakeholders joining forces in the new Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance launched by the green investor group Ceres. The group aims to establish principles for Rapid fleet electrification in the U.S.
Meanwhile, just last month GM launched a new EV venture called BrightDrop. aimed at manufacturing electric delivery vehicles as well as electric pallets for the vehicle-to-door trip.
Whether or not Ikea and GM cross paths, the takeaway is that retailers can go big by taking a whole-of-operations approach to decarbonization, enlisting new technology, new customer services, and new partnerships to speed toward their goals.
Tina writes frequently for TriplePundit and other websites, with a FOCUS on military, government and corporate sustainability, clean tech research and emerging energy technologies. She is a former Deputy Director of Public Affairs of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, and author of books and articles on recycling and other conservation themes. She is currently Deputy Director of Public Information for the County of Union, New Jersey. Views expressed here are her own and do not necessarily reflect agency policy.
IKEA’s Newest Collab Could Save You a Ton on Your Energy Bill
Between the mountains of research and getting quotes from specialized pros, investing in energy-efficient home upgrades can be exhausting. Sometimes we wish it were as fun as shopping for home decor—and now it is. IKEA, everyone’s favorite Swedish retailer, has recently partnered with solar technology and energy services provider SunPower Corp. to help encourage its shoppers to make the switch to renewable resources.
The catch? Right now the service is only available to IKEA Family loyalty members living in select locations across California, but fingers crossed it will expand nationwide soon. Essentially, if you spot a designated solar kiosk at a participating store, you can get connected with a SunPower adviser who will guide you through the four different packages (each one includes various combinations of solar, energy storage, and electric vehicle charging). Finally, switching to a more eco-friendly and affordable (in the long run!) lifestyle seems easier than putting together a Billy bookcase.
Even if you’re not one of the lucky Golden State residents, you can still make some positive changes to your space. We’ve listed a few favorite IKEA products that will scratch your sustainability itch for the time being.
The Water-Saving Attachment
You no longer have to completely swap out your faucet in order to spare your water bill. IKEA’s new Abacken nozzle (launching this October) twists on to any existing sink spout, and you can toggle between mist or spray modes that use less H2O (ahem, 95 percent less!) than most traditional systems. Did we mention it’s only 6?
The Upcycled Drapes
The Bengta blackout curtains are crafted from 34 half-liter PET bottles and can be cut to the length of your window with no hemming or sewing needed—the laminated fabric doesn’t shred.
The Feel-Good Light
Made from recycled plastic and renewable viscose, the Mojna pendant kamp is IKEA’s answer to reducing its polyester consumption. The fixture’s diffused glow (it comes with an LED bulb) makes it ideal to hang over a dining table or bed for added softness.
The Reusable Food Jar
If you’ve ever wanted your pantry to look like it’s been touched by Marie Kondo, getting a Korken jar is the first step. Everything from coffee grounds to rice can be housed inside the airtight vessel. So long, single-use baggies.
The All-Natural Mattress Topper
Say goodbye to artificial foam fillers and down feathers with IKEA’s 100 percent cotton pick. The topper is wrapped in uncolored and unbleached linen, while the interior is made up of an organic latex that will ensure you remain comfortable through every twist and turn. This sustainable option definitely has us sleeping easier.
SunPower residential solar now offered in IKEA California locations
The collaboration aims to make home solar shopping more accessible, making solar a key aspect of the home improvement process.
IKEA shoppers at select California stores will now have a new option available to them: residential solar from SunPower.
Through the collaboration, members of the IKEA Family customer loyalty program will have in-store access to four custom designed SunPower solar packages, which all include a SunPower Equinox solar system, a 25-year warranty for power, product and labor, and a 10-year monitoring warranty. IKEA U.S. customers will work directly with SunPower to access its energy solutions, which contain all the products, services, and warranties that customers will need.
The collaboration brings IKEA’s strengths in retail and home living, and SunPower carries more than 35 years of solar industry experience. SunPower systems are backed by a 25-year warranty, covering everything from panels to racking to monitoring hardware. It has among the highest DC power output protection in the solar industry, claiming 92% DC power in year 25.
SunPower’s energy storage offering, called the SunVault, offers backup power and can perform other services like peak demand response. It is equipped with 6.8 kW continuous power, 13 kWh / 26 kWh rated energy capacity, and a 10-year warranty. It measures 26 inches by 63 inches by 15 inches and is rated for indoor or outdoor use.
With SunPower, making the switch to renewable energy at home can be completed in five steps:
Assessment : A SunPower Solar Advisor will assess the customer’s electricity bills, energy goals, and roof configuration so they can design a custom solar package to meet their needs.
Quote : SunPower will provide a proposed system design based on the customer’s needs as well as financial products and incentives that may be available to them.
Site Verification: A SunPower installation professional will visit the home to assess the roof and ensure the system is designed to optimize solar production. Updates will be made to the final proposal to reflect any changes needed.
Installation: Once the proposal is signed, SunPower will work with the customer from installation to activation.
Enjoy the Sun : Sit back and enjoy the benefits of having solar.
The solar packages are available at eight IKEA California stores, including Emeryville, East Palo Alto, West Sacramento, Burbank, Carson, Covina, Costa Mesa and San Diego.
“To power more homes with clean, reliable and affordable energy, we need to make the process of switching to renewables convenient and easy,” said Peter Faricy, SunPower CEO. “We’re proud IKEA selected SunPower to bring the many benefits of solar to its customers, and we look forward to making their energy transition seamless. There has truly never been a better time to go solar.”
In addition to the California locations, IKEA has residential solar available in ten European markets, including Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Poland and Portugal.
“At IKEA, we’re passionate about helping our customers live a more sustainable life at home. We’re proud to collaborate with SunPower to bring this service to the US and enable our customers to make individual choices aimed at reducing their overall climate footprint,” said Javier Quiñones, CEO chief sustainability officer, IKEA US. Quiñones said IKEA’s goal is to expand the service at additional locations outside the select California retail sites in the future.
Ingka Group, a strategic partner in the IKEA franchise system, has invested in two solar facilities with 403 MW combined capacity in Utah and Texas and two wind energy facilities producing 859 million kWh of energy in Illinois and Texas. IKEA has set a goal to be “climate positive” by 2030, and has solar arrays on top of 90% of its store locations.
This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ryan joined pv magazine in 2021, bringing experience from a top residential solar installer, and a U. S.