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​IKEA rolls out 3.6MW solar panel project for Australian stores

IKEA Australia is on the road to minimising its carbon footprint with the installation of solar panels across seven of its east-coast stores and warehouses.

IKEA is rolling out solar panels across seven sites in Australia. IKEA

The 3.6MW project, announced in partnership with Canadian renewable energy company Canadian Solar, will generate enough clean energy annually to offset roughly 4,000 tonnes of CO2, and will be rolled out across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

IKEA has previously asserted its commitment to sustainability in the Australian marketplace, using its company mission statement to announce a goal of complete renewability.

"We want to have a positive impact on the environment, which is why by 2020 we're going to be 100 percent renewable -- producing as much renewable energy as we consume using renewable sources, such as the wind and sun," IKEA's Energy & Resources page states. "We're also making our buildings more efficient, so we need less energy to run them."

Speaking about the project, IKEA Australia sustainability manager Richard Wilson said it was part of a "long-term approach to sustainability".

"Globally our ambition is to switch to renewable energy to become energy independent by 2020, and we're well on the way. For an installation of this size, installing solar systems on to the roofs of our stores and warehouses here in Australia is a considerable undertaking and each of our sites has had its challenges."

Energy industry news site Renew Economy reported that the project will be "the nation's largest commercial solar development so far" and will see more than 16,000 solar panels installed across IKEA's five Australian stores and two warehouse locations. IKEA has previously stated that a total of 300,000 solar panels have been installed worldwide.

"The project...will have an annual output of 5,495 million kilowatt hours (MWh) of electricity; enough to power 778 family homes for a year," Renew Economy reported.