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Ikea completes solar energy projects by plugging in Charlotte store

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Ikea is finishing the last of its planned solar energy projects in the United States today by switching on the solar array at its store here.

The installation is the 39th completed solar project for Ikea in the United States, and the last planned one under way in the country, the company said.

The 356,000-sq.-ft. Charlotte location opened in February 2009. Its 122,000-sq.-ft. photovoltaic array was built with 4,228 panels. The store will produce about 1.33 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year.

That is the equivalent of reducing 938 tons of carbon dioxide, eliminating the emissions of 195 cars or powering 140 homes yearly, using EPA clean energy equivalent calculations.

Ikea has a solar presence at 39 of its 44 locations and has a total generation goal of 38 megawatts. The retailer owns and operates each of the solar energy systems on top of buildings and has spent $1.8 billion worldwide to invest in renewable energy through 2015.

The company's goal is to be energy independent by 2020. Ikea has installed more than 250,000 solar panels on buildings around the world and also owns and operates about 110 wind turbines in Europe.

"At Ikea, we believe in creating a better every life for the many people, so investing in renewable energy accomplishes helps contributes to that goal. We appreciate the support of the City of Charlotte, Duke Energy, and Gehrlicher Solar, our partners in this project," said Richard Castanon, Ikea Charlotte store manager.

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