Thursday, April 28, 2011

Red Hook Ikea Assembles Brooklyn's Biggest Solar Panel Installation

Posted By on Thu, Apr 28, 2011 at 1:56 PM

The Red Hook Ikeas rooftop looks like this now.
  • The Red Hook Ikea's rooftop looks like this now.

Oh, Red Hook Ikea, we just can't figure out your environmental agenda. On the one hand there are buses and boats going right to your door, on the other hand you have that huge parking lot and traffic in your vicinity has increased over 300 percent. You opposed a new bike lane, but gave your employees bikes. You probably were (not) responsible for last summer's Red Hook oil spill. And now you have Brooklyn's biggest solar panel installation!

The Brooklyn Paper reports that yesterday the waterfront big box furniture, home-wares and meatballs store juiced up its rooftop solar panel installation, which covers some 19,000 square feet, or about half a football field, making it the borough's biggest.

Over the next 12 months, those 1,104 panels will generate roughly the same amount of energy consumed by 20 homes or the equivalent of emissions from 32 cars over the same period. The panels, which convert solar radiation into electricity, feeds that current back into the Con Edison grid—the power company certified the Ikea installation earlier this week.

Store manager Mike Baker tells the Paper:

“The initiative helps improve the environment and contributes to our vision of creating a better everyday life for the many."

But given the amount of energy the store requires and emissions it generates from traffic, air conditioning and so on, the huge solar power system's benefits are relatively limited. Red Hook Civic Association co-chairman John McGettrick tells the BP:
“This will be a miniscule way to offset the tremendous amount of pollution created by the vehicles passing through Red Hook Park on the way to the store.”

What more could the Swedish giants do? Two words: tidal turbines.

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