IKEA Launches Fuel Cell System in Emeryville, Calif.

by Katie Lee

Emeryville, Calif. — IKEA has officially ‘flipped the switch’ on a fuel cell system installed at its retail location in Emeryville, Calif. The project represents the first IKEA endeavor globally to convert biogas into electricity through a clean electro-chemical process. 

The fuel cell system was manufactured by Bloom Energy, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of solid oxide fuel cell technology generating clean, highly efficient on-site power. 

Slightly larger than the physical size of a commercial backup generator, the 300-kW system will operate on biogas and produce approximately 2,497,651 kWh of electricity annually for the store. Combined with the solar energy system installed atop the store in 2011, these fuel cells will help generate more than a majority of the store’s energy on-site.

“Plugging in this fuel cell system is an exciting milestone that complements our existing rooftop solar array,” says Pat Choa, store manager. “Utilizing fuel cells will reduce greatly our carbon footprint and help create an even more sustainable community here in Emeryville.” 

This investment in fuel cell technology reflects the company’s goal to be energy independent by 2020 and complements other IKEA renewable programs in the U.S., including solar presence at nearly 90% of its locations, a geothermal heating and cooling system at two stores, and two wind farms totaling 104 turbines.

Founded in 1943 in Sweden, IKEA has more than 360 stores in 47 countries, including 40 in the U.S. For more information, visit IKEA-USA.com.


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