JOLIET – IKEA announced on Tuesday it completed installing Illinois’ largest solar rooftop on its Midwest distribution center, which is under construction in Joliet.
“Investing in sustainable solutions is a vital part of our business model,” Lars Petersson, IKEA U.S. president, said in a news release. “IKEA aims to create a sustainable life for communities where we are located, and the Joliet distribution center is a shining example of that goal.”
The center’s 9,036 panels will produce approximately 3.37 million kilowatt hours (a unit of energy) of electricity annually for the facility. That is equal to reducing 2,513 tons of carbon dioxide, or the emissions of 538 cars. That amount of energy also could provide enough electricity for 377 homes yearly.
The center is under construction on 72 acres at the Laraway Crossings Business Park and will be a 1.25 million square feet. IKEA said the center will enhance its distribution network with its central location allowing goods to be received at coastal ports from Asia and Europe and then transported inland to the Joliet facility.
Its proximity to a nearby railroad intermodal will also mean long-term transportation options. IKEA also is planning another, similarly sized facility on 62 acres adjacent to the one under construction, although a timeline for that building remains undetermined.
This is IKEA’s third project with one of the largest solar rooftops in the state, one of those being its store in Bolingbrook, according to the news release.
IKEA owns and operates each of its solar energy systems atop its buildings. The company has allocated $2.5 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2020 to achieve its goal of being energy independent.
It has installed more than 700,00 solar panels on buildings around the world and owns about 300 wind turbines, 104 of which are in the U.S.