The home furnishing retailer, IKEA, has joined with Green Mountain Energy Company and Sun Power Electric, to build the largest solar electric array in western Pennsylvania.PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania, US, 2001-11-13 [SolarAccess.com] The three companies have unveiled 175 solar electric panels on the roof of the IKEA store in Robinson Town Centre, and a special public education display at the store’s main entrance. The 30 kW system, known as Green Mountain Solar at Pittsburgh, is owned and operated by Sun Power Electric. The PV system is attached to the IKEA building on two levels of the roof. The upper roof contains 28 kW of solar modules, while diners in the store’s second-floor restaurant can see a 2 kW array of 60 BP Solar panels installed along the dining patio. The electricity generated by the solar array is fed to the regional power grid, to avoid electricity generated from pollution-causing fuels. The Pittsburgh facility has public education benefits, and will use an electronic display unit inside the main entrance to allow customers to see a real- time readout of the accumulated carbon dioxide emissions avoided by the solar panels. IKEA wanted to demonstrate its commitment to helping preserve the environment and prevent air pollution by donating its roof space free of charge to host the solar project. “The power of customer choice has energized the market for renewable electricity in Pennsylvania,” says Terrance Fitzpatrick of the Public Utility Commission, who helped draft the state’s electricity competition law and leads the PUC’s Demand Side Response Working Group. “The Pittsburgh region is fast becoming a hotbed for green technology.” “We’re excited about playing a role in this new progressive approach toward implementing clean renewable energy, which will benefit our community and the environment,” adds Jim Anastos, store manger of the IKEA store. “As a socially responsible company, IKEA recognizes that every proactive effort for our environment today can make a big difference for our future.” “Energy competition in Pennsylvania, and the tremendous demand of our customers for cleaner electricity have made this new solar project a reality,” says Clifton Payne of Green Mountain Energy. The company has announced plans to develop two commercial solar arrays in Texas, totaling 100 kW in size, and a 25 kW solar array near Cleveland, Ohio.