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Ikea’s store in Merriam is now using solar energy

The Kansas City Star logoIkea’s Merriam store on Tuesday officially plugged into its rooftop solar energy system, which consists of 2,394 panels spread over 92,000 square feet.

The solar project, which the home furnishings retailer says is the largest in Kansas, is expected to produce about 986,800 kilowatt hours of electricity annually at the store. That’s the equivalent of reducing 680 tons of carbon dioxide from the environment — the emissions from 143 cars.

Put another way, the rooftop solar system could generate enough electricity for 94 homes annually, the company said. Ikea said its clean energy calculations are based on Environmental Protection Agency data.

The 359,000-square-foot Merriam store opened last September near Interstate 35 and Johnson Drive and represents the 41st solar project for the Swedish retailer in the United States. About 90 percent of Ikea’s U.S. locations now have a solar presence.

The Merriam store also relies on geothermal energy technology to power its heating and cooling system.

The company has said it plans to spend about $1.8 billion this year on renewable energy projects worldwide.

Chicago-based SoCore Energy designed and installed the solar power system atop the Merriam store.