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IKEA to expand renewable energy portfolio

Retailer to utilize fuel cells to generate more onsite clean power at its Emeryville, California, store.

Home furnishings retailer IKEA has announced plans to install a fuel cell system at its location in Emeryville, California — one of two San Francisco-area stores for the Swedish company. Consistent with IKEA’s focus on emerging energy technologies, this project represents the first IKEA endeavor globally to convert biogas into electricity through a clean electro-chemical process. 

For the design, development and installation of this fuel cell system, IKEA contracted with Sunnyvale-based Bloom Energy a provider of breakthrough solid oxide fuel cell technology generating clean, highly-efficient on-site power. Slightly larger than the physical size of a commercial back-up generator, the 300-kW system will operate on biogas and produce approximately 2,497,651 kWh of electricity annually for the store, the equivalent of reducing 1,304 tons of CO2 – equal to the emissions of 249 cars, or enough energy provide electricity for 163 homes yearly. Combined with the solar energy system installed atop the store in 2011, these fuel cells will help generate more than a majority of the store’s energy onsite.
 
IKEA’s investment in fuel cell technology reflects the company’s goal to be energy independent by 2020 and complements other IKEA renewable programs in the US, including solar presence at nearly 90% of its locations, a geothermal heating and cooling system at two stores, and two wind farms totaling 104 turbines.

“We are excited about furthering our sustainability commitment with fuel cells at IKEA Emeryville,” said Pat Choa, store manager. “Similar to our rooftop solar array, this fuel cell system will reduce greatly our carbon footprint and the store’s reliance on the power grid, as well as contribute to our vision of creating a better everyday life for the many.” 
The fuel cell system will be installed, commissioned and activated by this summer.   

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Energy efficiency  •  Energy infrastructure  •  Energy storage including Fuel cells  •  Green building  •  Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity

 

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