Ikea plans to install solar panels

COSTA MESA — Ikea will soon install 1,078 solar panels atop its Costa Mesa store.

The installation spanning 30,000 square feet will soon be installed at Ikea's location at Susan Street and South Coast Drive, just off of Harbor Boulevard. Seven other California locations will also be fitted with the green technology.

All together, the stores are expected to reduce an estimated 5,268 tons of carbon dioxide in California – equaling the emissions of 914 cars or electricity for 580 homes a year, according to Ikea.

The solar panels installed on the Costa Mesa store will potentially reduce emissions to the equivalent of 31 cars annually.

"Being a Swedish company, we pride ourselves on our respect for environment," said Joseph Roth, U.S. public affairs spokesman for Ikea. "We are known for being ecologically responsible, from our sustainable furniture to our conscientious business practices."

The size of Ikea's large stores, provided the ideal space necessary for the installations, he said.

Other "green" practices found throughout IKEA's 300 stores include recycling about 75% of waste, energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, low volatile organic compound emitting paint and water-conserving restrooms.

Energy efficiencies mean lower priced goods for consumers, Roth said.

Ikea's largest U.S building, a distribution center near Bakersfield, will also get

almost 8,000 solar panels, totaling 216,000 square feet.

Other Southern California stores slated to get panels are include those in Burbank, Covina, East Palo Alto and San Diego.

The solar panel projects at the eight Ikea locations are expected to be completed by early 2011.

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