IKEA, Cleco Add Solar Panels

by | Apr 23, 2010

As more businesses focus on increasing energy efficiency, reducing electricity costs and cutting carbon emissions, they are adding solar energy systems to their electricity mix.

As an example, IKEA plans to install a solar energy system that will generate about one million kWh of electricity at its retail store in Tempe, Arizona. Scheduled to start in May, the 46,000-sq.-ft. installation will consist of two 300-kWh systems, each built with approximately 1,300 panels (for a total 2,600). The solar energy system is expected to offset 712 tons of carbon emissions. The installation should be completed in November.

This is IKEA’s third solar project in the U.S. One system is operational in Pittsburgh, Pa., and the other installation is underway in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Cleco, a regional energy company in Pineville, La., is installing four solar panels on the roof of its corporate headquarters as part of its evaluation of alternative energy sources. The company plans to monitor the performance of each panel along with total energy produced by all panels.

Three of the panels will be fixed-tilt mounted, each using a different cell technology. The fourth panel will be a track-mounted system. Cleco’s project is expected to be about 2.5 times larger than a typical home installation, which is about 3 kW.

Meanwhile, the White House may get free solar panels. Sungevity is offering to install solar panels on the roof of the White House for free, reports AZoCleantech. The company is petitioning the public for 10,000 signatures, which will be sent to President Obama.

The petition is the company’s way of creating awareness among homeowners about the affordability of solar energy systems and their energy savings, typically cutting electricity bills by 15 percent.

A recent survey finds that U.S. solar executives expect significant growth in 2010 and 2011, with more than 38 percent projecting more than 25 percent growth in 2010.

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