IKEA installs over 4,000 solar panels on Canton store's roof - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

IKEA installs over 4,000 solar panels on Canton store's roof

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Some of the new solar panels on the roof of IKEA's store in Canton.  (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com) Some of the new solar panels on the roof of IKEA's store in Canton. (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com)
Canton, Mich. (WJBK) -

There is much more to the giant IKEA store in Canton than meets the eye.  We climbed a steep ladder up onto the roof to see for ourselves a massive array of solar panels that was recently installed and which covers 140,000 square feet.

"Currently, we've got 13 stores in the U.S. that have solar panels installed atop their roof.  We just announced five more.  They're having their installation right now along with us," said IKEA spokesperson Amanda Preston.

Two more huge projects will soon take place at IKEA distribution centers.  The Swedish home furnishings retailer says it's all part of their long-term commitment to sustainability and confidence in photovoltaic technology.  The Chicago company SoCore Energy landed the contract to turn the roof into a solar sensation.

IKEA won't say how much all of this costs, but you can be sure it was a significant investment.  4,157 solar panels are on the Canton's store roof making it the largest solar installation in the entire state.

"It's really going to be equivalent to almost taking 155 cars off the road annually or powering 98 homes," Preston said.

The solar panels will produce 1.1-million kilowatt hours of electricity each year, enough to reduce 865 tons of carbon dioxide.

The Canton store first opened in 2006, and this project is just the latest earth-friendly initiative.

"Our energy efficient HVAC systems, recycling centers here in the building, we try to recycle at least 80-percent of the waste that we have here in the building, so it's just a natural fit that our next thing would be sustainable energy through solar panels," said Preston.

The company is still in the process of hooking it up.  They hope to have the solar roof humming by mid-summer, but even on cloudy days and during our Michigan winters, it will generate juice.  IKEA's facilities team will be in charge of clearing snow from the panels when the sweltering days we're experiencing now are over.

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