IKEA plans to increase the solar array atop its Detroit-area store that opened eight years ago in Canton, MI. In September, IKEA began work on a 44,000-square-foot expansion to the store, atop which new panels will be installed beginning spring 2015, with a completion by summer. The 40,000-square-foot solar addition will consist of a 240.9-kW system built with 765 panels, and will produce 287,490 kWh more of electricity annually for the store.
Minnesota Power, a division of ALLETE, and the Minnesota National Guard signed a memorandum of understanding outlining plans to build a 10-MW utility-scale solar energy array at Camp Ripley, located in central Minnesota. The project will be the largest solar energy installation on military property in the state. The solar farm and backup generation will be designed and constructed to allow Camp Ripley to use the energy produced by the project during infrequent periods when the electric grid is down, providing enhanced energy security for the military site.
Ford Motor Company teamed up with DTE Energy to build Michigan's largest solar array at Ford World Headquarters. The project, funded by DTE Energy, will provide employees with 360 covered parking spaces and 30 charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles. The solar canopy will have capacity to generate 1.038 MW of electricity. Under a recently finalized agreement, DTE Energy will construct, operate and maintain the carport for 20 years. Construction is slated to begin in September and be completed in early 2015.
Vista Solar completed a 153-kW solar array for WestGate Church in San Jose, Calif. The system, which was designed and installed by Vista Solar, is expected to generate more than 250,000 kWh of energy each year. Vista Solar secured a $0 down, 15-year PPA which allowed WestGate to be cash-flow positive from the start. As part of the PPA agreement, Vista Solar will monitor the system for 15 years to ensure it is performing at or above expectations.
AEP Energy began installation of a 101-kW solar array on the roof of The Ohio State University's Student Life Recreation and Physical Activities Center (RPAC). AEP Energy will fund, build, own and operate the approximately 10,000-square-foot array, made up of 367 solar panels. The solar array is valued at approximately $400,000, and the electricity produced by the array – approximately 116,000 kWh annually – will be supplied to Ohio State at a rate of $.04 per kWh throughout the next eight years.