IKEA has completed a 1.35 MW solar carport at one of its locations in Baltimore, Maryland, and plans to build seven more similar projects at other US stores, in partnership with New York-based Distributed Solar Development­­ (DSD).

The Baltimore project is the first of eight projects totaling 7 MW that DSD will develop for IKEA stores in Maryland and California. The other arrays are on track to be done this year. In January, DSD closed on a $300 million debt facility financed by Credit Suisse. It also hinted that it will have more deals to announce in the near future.

The solar carports will help IKEA move toward its goal of being powered by 100 per cent renewable energy, while also increasing energy efficiency by 2025. DSD designed and built the Baltimore carport. Initial results indicate the location has seen an 84 per cent decrease in its purchased energy requirement between September and December 2020, equating to a 57 per cent cost savings for the store.

The solar carports are expected to generate a total of 10.7 GWh of electricity per year. Five of the projects include energy storage systems, with a collective capacity of about 5 MWh.

In the US, the company currently owns 104 wind turbines, two geothermal properties, 240,784 solar panels, and 143 electric vehicle charging stations across 51 properties. Last year, Ingka Group, a partner in the IKEA franchise system, committed more than $700 million to support the shift to a net-zero carbon economy. As part of these efforts, Ingka Group has invested in two solar parks, totaling 403 MW of capacity, in Utah and Texas.