When Swedish home furnishing retailer IKEA plugged in South Florida’s largest solar energy system earlier this year in Sunrise, it became the state’s largest non-utility solar owner. The Sunrise project joined two other IKEA solar arrays already operational in South Florida, in Orlando and Tampa. IKEA has a long-standing commitment to sustainable energy practices, readily demonstrated by its global allocation of $1.8 billion to invest in renewable energy over the next two years, and the myriad other conservation measures it has implemented in its buildings here and around the world.
According to IKEA, the 4,368 photovoltaic panels of the 101,774-square-foot solar array of the Sunrise project will produce approximately 1.5 million kilowatts of clean electricity annually. IKEA’s Orlando solar energy array began operating in June of last year, generating 1.4 million kWh of clean electricity, and the Tampa store made the switch to solar energy in July of 2012, coming online to annually produce 1.79 million kilowatts. Taken together, the energy production of IKEA’s solar arrays in South Florida will be responsible for the equivalent of eliminating the emissions of 644 cars, powering 552 homes, or reducing of 3,623 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) yearly, based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calculations for clean energy equivalents.
IKEA’s conservation efforts are proceeding apace both here and around the world; the Swiss company owns and operates around 110 wind turbines in Europe, and has installed more than 250,000 solar panels on its buildings around the world. With 35 completed solar projects in the US so far, and four more locations currently underway, IKEA is well on track to reaching its goal of having 90% of its US locations running on solar power and producing 38 MW of clean energy. Some of the other sustainable initiatives IKEA is employing include installing energy-efficient HVAC systems and lighting control, skylights, water-conserving restrooms, switching to L.E.D. light bulbs, and installing electric vehicle charging stations at carefully chosen locations.
While not every business is prepared to make the encompassing commitment IKEA has to renewable energy and energy conservation measures, there are steps that every business owner can take to preserve the environment, lower their energy use, and curtail expenses. Retrofitting a building with a building automation system is an ideal way to achieve cost effective energy management. Building automation lowers energy costs by giving you control over the systems that use the most energy – lighting and HVAC equipment. Temperature control lowers energy consumption by providing accurate monitoring of each area and maintaining the specified set points while utility bill validation can ensure you are achieving maximum savings.
Lighting control technology can help you increase your building’s efficiency and lower your electricity costs. A basic control system for lighting and equipment switching applications is ideal for use in facilities where time-of-day control is being managed from a time clock or centralized building management system. Lighting controls can be implemented as stand-alone systems or as part of an integrated network solution for facilities of all sizes. Incorporated as part of a new construction project or retrofitted to your facility’s existing lighting circuits, efficient lighting control is an integral part of any building’s energy management system.
Advanced Control Corporation is an industry leader in energy management and control systems in South Florida and a member of the US Green Building Council with over 20 years of designing, installing, and servicing building energy management systems. We are proud to have added to the sustainability of several thousand buildings in Florida, and look forward to helping you achieve your energy conservation goals. Contact Advanced Control Corporation today at 954-491-6660 and let us show you just how efficient your building can be!