Growing Its Renewable Portfolio, IKEA East Palo Alto Plugs-in Fuel Cell System to Generate More Onsite Power at Store

EAST PALO ALTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today announced it
has completed installation of its fifth biogas-powered fuel cell system
in California – and in the country – at its East Palo Alto location in
the San Francisco Bay Area. Furthering the Swedish retailer’s investment
in fuel cell technology, this project complements the company’s focus on
other renewable energies such as solar and wind. With the East Palo Alto
fuel cell system installed, commissioned and operational, IKEA is on
track to generate 1.5 MW in total of energy via fuel cells,
supplementing onsite solar arrays atop all these stores.

“Plugging-in this fuel cell system is an exciting milestone that
complements our existing rooftop solar array,” said Monica Varela, store
manager. “Utilizing fuel cells will reduce our carbon footprint and help
create an even more sustainable community here in the Bay Area.”

Slightly larger than the physical size of a commercial back-up
generator, the 300-kw, biogas-powered project will produce approximately
2,630,452 kWh of electricity annually for the store, the equivalent of
reducing 1,193 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) – equal to the
emissions of 252 cars or to providing electricity for 176 homes yearly
(calculating clean energy equivalents at
Combined with the 302-kW solar array installed atop the store in 2011,
the fuel cell project will help generate a majority of the store’s
energy onsite.

For the design, development and installation of this fuel cell system,
IKEA contracted with Sunnyvale-based Bloom Energy, a provider of
breakthrough solid oxide fuel cell technology generating clean,
highly-efficient on-site power.

Drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, IKEA strives to
minimize its operations’ carbon emissions because reducing its
environmental impact makes good business sense. IKEA evaluates locations
for conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into
product design, works to maintain sustainable resources, and flat-packs
goods for efficient distribution. U.S. sustainable efforts include:
recycling waste material; incorporating key measures into buildings with
energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction
materials, warehouse skylights, and water-conserving restrooms; and
operationally, no plastic bags in the check-out process, and selling
only LED lighting. IKEA U.S. has installed electric vehicle charging
stations at 16 stores and solar arrays at 90% of its locations,
integrated two geothermal projects at two store locations and owns two
wind farms. This investment in fuel cell technology reflects the
company’s goal to be energy independent by 2020.

Located on 10.5 acres at US-101 and University Avenue, the 290,000-s.f.
IKEA East Palo Alto opened August 2003 and employs approximately 300
coworkers. In addition to 10,000 exclusively designed items, IKEA East
Palo Alto presents 50 different room-settings, three model home
interiors, a supervised children’s play area, and a 250-seat restaurant
serving Swedish specialties such as meatballs with lingonberries and
salmon plates, as well as American dishes. Other family-friendly
features include a Children’s IKEA area in the Showroom, baby care
rooms, preferred parking and play areas throughout the store. IKEA
installed a rooftop solar array and 3 electric vehicle charging stations
at the store in 2011.

Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings of
good design and function at affordable prices. There are currently more
than 390 IKEA stores in 48 countries, including 43 in the U.S. IKEA has
been ranked among “Best Companies to Work For” and, as further
investment in its coworkers, has raised its own minimum wage twice in
two years. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and
supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more
information see,
or IKEAUSA on Facebook,
and Pinterest.


Joseph Roth, Expansion Public Affairs
(610) 834-0180,
ext. 6500