IKEA’s Joliet Distribution Center to be Equipped with Solar Rooftop

The facility, combined with arrays atop the Chicago-area IKEA stores in Bolingbrook and Schaumburg, makes the retailer owner of three of the state’s largest solar rooftop installations.

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

IKEA distribution center in Joliet, Ill.
IKEA distribution center in Joliet, Ill.

Joliet, Ill.IKEA announced plans to install solar panels on its Midwest distribution center currently under construction in Joliet, Ill. Installation is scheduled for spring 2017, with completion slated for fall 2017.

The distribution center’s 470,545-square-foot solar array will consist of a 2.91-megawatt system built with 8,966 panels and will produce approximately 3,411,600-kilowatt hours of electricity annually, the yearly equivalent of reducing 2,398 tons of carbon dioxide or providing electricity for 354 households.

SoCore Energy was chosen to handle the development, design and installation of the facility’s solar power system. Gray Construction is managing the construction of the Joliet distribution center.

“We are excited to further our sustainability commitment with solar panels on our future Midwest distribution center,” Lars Peterson, IKEA U.S. president, said in a prepared statement. “Installing Illinois’ largest rooftop array advances our vision of creating a better everyday life for the many.”

The project marks IKEA’s 45th solar project in the U.S., contributing to the IKEA solar presence atop nearly 90 percent of its U.S. locations, with a total generation of more than 40 megawatts. IKEA is the owner and operator of all solar photovoltaic energy systems atop its buildings and has allocated $2.5 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2020. Furthermore, the home furnishings retailer has installed more than 700,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and owns approximately 300 wind turbines, 104 in the U.S. and 49 of which are in Hoopeston, Ill.

The future 1.25-million-square-foot distribution center currently under construction on 72 acres at the Laraway Crossings Business Park will allow goods to be received at coastal ports from both Asia and Europe and then transported to the Joliet facility. Moreover, IKEA is planning another, similarly-sized facility on 62 acres adjacent to the one currently being built, but the timing for the construction remains to be determined.