Connecticut Governor and IKEA ‘Flip-the-Switch’ on Fuel Cell System to Generate More Onsite Power at New Haven Store

With Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy and Bloom Energy Chief
Commercial Officer Bill Kurtz on-hand, IKEA, the world’s leading home
furnishings retailer, today ‘flipped-the-switch’ on its first fuel cell
system on the east coast, at its store in New Haven, CT. 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. IKEA already operates five fuel cell systems, at stores
in California. Now that the New Haven fuel cell system is operational,
IKEA is on track to generate 1.5 MW of energy in total via fuel cells,
supplementing onsite solar arrays atop all these stores.

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Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, Bloom Energy Chief Commercial Officer Bill Kurtz and Christof St ...

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, Bloom Energy Chief Commercial Officer Bill Kurtz and Christof Stein, store manager, ‘flipped-the-switch’ on IKEA’s first fuel cell system on the east coast, at its store in New Haven. (Photo: Business Wire)

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

Slightly larger than the physical size of a commercial back-up
generator, the 250-kw project will produce approximately 2,081,376 kWh
of electricity annually for the store, the equivalent of reducing 1,218
tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) – equal to the emissions of 233
cars or to providing electricity for 163 homes yearly (calculating clean
energy equivalents at www.epa.gov/energy/greenhouse-gas-equivalencies-calculator).
Combined with the 940.8-kW solar array installed atop the store in 2012,
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 Bloom Energy – a provider of breakthrough solid
oxide fuel cell technology generating clean, highly-efficient on-site
power – to work in conjunction with local Connecticut contractors.

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 14 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 20 acres near the I-95/I-91 interchange, the
311,000-square-foot IKEA New Haven opened July 2004 and features 10,000
exclusively designed items, 48 different room-settings, three model home
interiors, a supervised children’s play area, and a 350-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, and preferred parking.

Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings of
good design and function at affordable prices. There are currently more
than 380 IKEA stores in 48 countries, including 42 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 IKEA-USA.com,
@IKEAUSANews,
@IKEAUSA
or IKEAUSA on Facebook,
YouTube,
Instagram
and Pinterest.

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