Furniture mega-retailer Ikea on Tuesday plugged in Maryland's largest rooftop array of solar panels, atop its distribution center in Perryville.
The 769,000-square-foot field of panels will generate 3.4 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, the company said in a statement. That's the equivalent of avoiding a year's worth of greenhouse gas emission from about 500 cars, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
"As one of the largest rooftop arrays in the country, this installation will ensure that the Ikea Perryville distribution center consumes very little power from the electric grid," said Ed Morris, the manager of the Perryville distribution center. "Ikea is thrilled at this opportunity to further our investment in this community while also continuing our commitment of incorporating sustainability into our supply chain operations."
The Perryville project is Ikea's 36th finished solar project in the U.S. The company has three more solar sites under construction. Ikea, which has a goal of being energy independent by 2020, owns and operates all of its rooftop solar systems, the company said.
Ikea hired Inovateus Solar LLC, based in Indiana, to design and install the Perryville solar array.
The Perryville distribution center is 1.7 million square feet and employs about 550 people, the company said. It opened in 2002.