IT’LL TAKE A LITTLE WHILE TO ASSEMBLE THAT NEW IKEA ROOFTOP FURNITURE All the pieces are there, but now here comes the hard part. A scene familiar to many IKEA customers is now taking place on a large scale on top of the Houston IKEA store’s roof, where workers from contractor REC Solar are assembling flat-packed stacks of 3,962 solar panels into a 116,400-sq.-ft. PV array. The panels arrived on site at the end of last year, but construction won’t be complete until sometime this summer. When it’s done, the company says, the installation will generate enough energy to power 113 homes — or a larger number of in-store room displays. [Swamplot inbox; previously on Swamplot] Photo: IKEA Houston
COMMENT OF THE DAY: IN DEFENSE OF IKEA’S STARTER SOLAR PANELS “1) The electricity amount is irrelevant. What better option is there for using their rooftop real estate?
2) All energy projects are subsidized. The main differences with solar is that homes and businesses can access energy subsidies generally reserved for much larger corporations who work further upstream.
3) Assuming an install cost of $2.50/W, an effective generation rate of $0.08/kwh, the Fed ITC of 30%, and depreciation, the project has 12 year payback on a 25 year warranty. It’s not great investment, but its a secure, has markting benefits, and increases the resale value of their building. Also, I imagine the recession has curtailed IKEA expansion, which implies IKEA is running out of depreciable assets.
4) Most state and local incentives are giant wastes of money, but Houston has none. In fact, it is the largest US city without a net-metering policy, and as such you can’t eliminate your electric bill with 100% on-site power generation in Houston anyway.” [SolarWonk, commenting on Houston IKEA Going Solar]
HOUSTON IKEA GOING SOLAR Houston’s 300,000-sq.-ft. IKEA store on the Katy Fwy. near Antoine — along with 8 other southern-state locations and a distribution center — will soon be covered with rooftop solar panels. The furniture company’s U.S. solar program began late last year. Contractor REC Solar will install 3,962 PV panels measuring a total of approximately 116,400 sq. ft., which IKEA will own and operate, on top of the Houston store by next summer. A company press release estimates the Houston panels will produce 931 kW, for a projected annual electricity output of 1,317,500 kWH per year. [BusinessWire] Photo of panels installed earlier this year in West Sacramento: IKEA
WALMART CAN’T WAIT Scratch that bit about “within a couple months”: A representative of Walmart told neighbors yesterday that construction of the new Supercenter behind the Marq*E Entertainment Center at Silber Rd. and I-10 will begin next week: “Several Afton Village residents spoke highly of Ikea, which they say reached out to the neighborhood well before plans were drawn for its larger store, which required the permanent closing of Afton Street from the I-10 feeder road. [Public affairs rep Kellie Duhr and Houston operations manager Jerry Peacock] said that Walmart believes in community and has a record of being a good neighbor. They said that philosophy would continue at the Silber store. ‘We bought the property. We can build there,’ Duhr said. ‘We’re here now, and it’s important to work with the community.’” [Memorial Examiner, previously on Swamplot]
A little more detail on that other Walmart headed for I-10, from Memorial Examiner reporter Rusty Graham: Construction will begin within a couple of months on the 185,000 sq. ft. Supercenter just north of the Marq*E Entertainment Center, on the remaining 23 acres of the former Cameron Iron Works plant. The company has quietly owned a portion of the TCEQ remediation site, which features soil and groundwater rich in cleaning solvents, since 2008. (“Most of the soil at the site has now been cleaned to meet residential standards,” Cooper Cameron claims.) Six of 7 surrounding pad sites will line Silber Rd. The Walmart itself will form a scenic backdrop to an expansive 880-space parking lot:
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After a summer-long silence, SexyATTACK is back, with this unbridled celebration of . . . uh, retail!
The IKEA on I-10 is a big store. Someone’s got to dance in it.
Sexy does salad bar, after the jump!
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