Ikea store in Bloomington has gone solar

  • Article by: Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 28, 2012 - 8:25 PM

The Swedish furniture chain said the Bloomington system can power the equivalent of 100 homes each year.

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solarnowAug. 28, 1210:16 AM

Good for Ikea! Every big box retailer should have a roof like this!

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ninetyninerAug. 28, 1210:17 AM

Beautiful!! This is the future of power generation...decentralized, local, and pollution-free. Awesome!!

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danonorthAug. 28, 1210:27 AM

At one time I had 10 solar panels operating for liquid heat. They are still in place but I sold the property after 20 years of use. I would like to know how they plan on clearing the ice and snow off this panel array to make them work year round. Mine, even at the proper angle to the sun required snow and ice removal and no easy task for ten alone. One is looking at a major parking lot to keep clear and if using a grid to melt it all wipes away all the power it can produce. Not going into the math of it, it's too complex. Wish them the best but like many I know, some engineer from Florida designed something for Minnesota and the fix is not easy.

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natro220Aug. 28, 1210:48 AM

danonorth - I would imagine for a system this elaborate and expensive, they have some kind of heater system built in to melt the snow, probably powered by the panels themselves. I really don't know though, it would be interesting to find out what they're plan is.

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danonorthAug. 28, 1211:04 AM

Comment from associate in the know...wait and see the weight load on the roof and water leaks in the roof structure. Better yet quarters built inside for a winter staff to handle the maintenance operations required.

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PLarson1972Aug. 28, 1211:05 AM

@Danonorth: Didn't the article say that the system was engineered and fabricated in Chicago? I'd wager that they have greater snowfall totals than us, on average.

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huntleyAug. 28, 1211:12 AM

Obviously a Swedish company never took snow into account ;)

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drposterAug. 28, 1211:42 AM

What kind of tax break/loophole did they get, to make this feasible? Well at least this time it's their money, and not a gov't loan.

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smithawAug. 28, 1212:03 PM

Star Tribune - What was the total cost of the investment, including long term operation, maintenance, repair, etc (IRS tax credits so I know how much I contributed), the monthly reduction in energy costs (if any) and the ROI based on those monthly savings. I suspect if the ROI calculation in years was even remotely positive, you'd see the number of years in the article. Since the information is not in the article, I bet it is likely 30-50 years (even if it proprietary - ST do some research and provide an estimate). Will IKEA be there in 30 years, will the building still be standing in 30 years - NOT.

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FrankLAug. 28, 1212:09 PM

Instead of saying how many homes it can power, how about how much of the store's electricity usage will be powered by these solar cells. My guess is less than 50%.

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