By Denver Business Journal

IKEAâ¿¿s new furniture store in Centennial will sport 2,212 solar power panels on its roof when it opens in the fall 2011, the company said Tuesday.

Installation of the solar panels, which will be capable of generating 498 kilowatts of power â¿¿ nearly half a megawattâ¿¿ is expected to begin in February, the company.

REC Solar Inc., based in San Luis Obispo, Calif., will install the panels.

The Colorado IKEA site is on the west side of Interstate 25, between Dry Creek and County Line roads, near one of metro Denverâ¿¿s largest shopping malls â¿¿ the 1.6 million-square-foot Park Meadows in Lone Tree. Ground was broken on the store in March 2010.

The 415,000-square-foot Centennial store, with 1,500 parking spaces, will employ roughly 400 people. It will be IKEAâ¿¿s 38th U.S. location.

The company installed a geothermal heating system to help with heating and cooling the building. The store will be IKEAâ¿¿s first store in the United States to use geothermal technology.

The 60,000-square-foot solar power system on the storeâ¿¿s roof is expected to produce about 740,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year for the store, the company said.

IKEA U.S. already has solar power systems in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Pittsburgh, Penn., and Tempe, Ariz.. The company is installing systems at eight existing locations in California and two stores on the East Coast.

⿿We are excited about furthering our sustainability commitment with solar panels on the future Centennial store,⿝ said Doug Greenholz, IKEA⿿s U.S. real estate manager, in a statement. ⿿Similar to geothermal, solar energy will reduce greatly the new store⿿s energy costs and carbon footprint as well as contribute to our vision of creating a better everyday life for the many.⿝

Copyright 2011 American City Business Journals

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