REC solar panels power the energy revolution at IKEA Spain

Munich - REC, the largest European supplier of solar panels globally, has this year provided solar panels to Swedish furniture giant IKEA to power five new installations at IKEA stores in Spain. In what is proving an intensive year of collaboration between REC and IKEA, more than 38,000 REC solar panels now generate almost 12,000 kWh annually at IKEA stores in Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz), Malaga, Sabadell (Barcelona), and two Distribution centres in Valls (Tarragona). The electricity generated from these installations is fed into the grid.

With large rooftop spaces available on stores and carports – and plenty of sunlight to capture – IKEA Spain has made a decision to ramp up its solar energy generation with the new REC installations. The first IKEA Spain facility to go into operation with REC solar panels was IKEA Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz). Completed in September 2012, this facility comprises 10,164 REC solar panels on the roof and carport rooftop, and has a total installed capacity of 2,439 kWp. The entire production of 3 million kWh per year is fed into the grid, and would be equivalent to 80 percent of the store’s electricity consumption during 2012.

The largest of the new facilities is at IKEA Distribution Centres in Valls Tarragona, where 18,400 roof-mounted REC Peak Energy 250 solar panels in two twin 2 MW installations together generate nearly 6 million kWh of clean, solar energy every year. Of the new REC-powered installations, only IKEA Sabadell produces energy for self-consumption. This roof installation comprises 480 REC Peak Energy solar panels, which produce approximately 158,000 kWh annually. The most recent installation, at IKEA Malaga, comprises 9,200 REC Peak Energy solar panels, on the roof of the store and the carport, generating a total of 2.9 million kWh each year – enough to meet nearly two thirds of the store’s electricity consumption.

REC has already provided solar panels for IKEA stores in the USA and Germany. “We are delighted to be continuing our collaboration in Spain,” says Luc Graré, Senior Vice President Solar Sales and Marketing, REC. “The fact that IKEA has chosen REC solar panels for its installations in Spain this year is testament to the quality and reliability of our products. We are proud to be playing such an active role in IKEA’s commitment to renewable energy generation.”

IKEA’s solar installations are part of a major company project titled “IKEA renewable”. Launched in 2007, the project seeks to ensure that each IKEA store can generate an equivalent amount of energy from renewable sources to cover its own demands. Since its launch, the project has reduced IKEA’s power bill by almost 2 million Euros per year, and achieved energy savings of 11,795 MWh.

The strong commitment to solar at IKEA Spain is a welcome signal for the future. Despite its thousands of hours of sunshine every year, Spain is a challenging market for solar power investment, with the government pushing ahead with measures to eliminate incentives and drive down the cost of subsidies. Investment in the industry is already impacted by numerous retroactive cuts to the feed-in tariff, and the scheme has been discontinued for new projects. In addition, the Spanish government has decided to put a cap on the profits for renewable power producers.

Against this backdrop, projects such as those at IKEA offer a promising vein of opportunity to the solar industry. This is an area where REC is proving a strong contender, with many global brands and institutions choosing REC as their provider of solar panels for their installations.

Source: REC

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