Huge rooftop solar array helps power new Columbus IKEA store

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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IKEA Columbus features rooftop solar array

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

IKEA’s vast retail floor is stocked with sleek-designed goods and gadgets. But have you seen their rooftops?

The soon-to-open IKEA Columbus store has enough rooftop solar panels and cool technology to make an environmental engineer weep with joy.

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Atop a white membrane covering the entire roof are 3,546 solar panels that are expected to generate 1.45 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year. That’s enough to power 150 homes but not quite enough juice to energize a 354,000-square-foot IKEA store.

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The nearly-finished IKEA facility in Columbus is slated to open this summer.

The nearly-finished IKEA facility in Columbus is slated to open this summer.

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The nearly-finished IKEA facility in Columbus is slated to open this summer.

“Unfortunately, IKEA stores do consumer a lot of electricity so we will still be connected to the grid, drawing electricity from the grid to complement what we are already generating on site,” said IKEA spokesman Joseph Roth. “Typically, IKEA solar arrays can generate between 20- and 60-percent of the energy needed for the location.”

The rooftop also includes skylights that use solar energy to rotate throughout the day to capture and reflect the maximum amount of sunlight.

>>PHOTOS: Images from atop IKEA’s newest Ohio store

The privately-held Swedish home furnishing store does not disclose the cost of its solar arrays, which IKEA owns, Roth said. Nearly 90 percent of IKEA stores in the U.S. have solar arrays, including Columbus and Cincinnati.

The Columbus store, located on 33 acres off Interstate 71 north of I-270, is set to open this summer, though no firm date has been announced.

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