Raining on Their Parade: IKEA Postpones Unveiling of Store's Solar Energy System

IKEA Houston was all set to unveil its solar-powered energy system today. They had a big ceremony planned and everything. The dedication ceremony would include Houston's Sustainability Director (we have one of those?) Laura Spanjian, whose last name sounds vaguely like a sofa I bought at the store a few years ago, giveaways and a tour of the roof, where, presumably, the solar panels are located.

Then God spoke to Noah and you know the rest.

In a move that is almost comical in its obviousness, IKEA decided to postpone the ceremony because of the rainy weather and dangerous driving conditions. Nothing says, "Hey, check out our solar power!" like a deluge of rain and an overflowing bayou system.

Whatever the case with the weather, the solar energy system from IKEA is pretty interesting and laudable considering the energy big-box retailers tear through on a daily basis in hot southern cities like Houston. In a press release, IKEA described the system:

IKEA Houston's 116,400-square-foot PV array consists of an 813-kW system, built with 3,388 panels. The program will produce approximately 1,152,464 kWh of clean electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing 795 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), eliminating the emissions of 156 cars or powering 99 homes yearly. To celebrate, Sunny 99.1 will be on site handing out free blue bags to the first 156 shoppers who stop by and say hello. The Houston installation, when combined with IKEA projects atop stores in Frisco and Round Rock, will make IKEA the state's largest solar owner.

Pretty impressive. The event's cancellation also means I won't be able to get on the roof of the giant store and moon the passersby on Interstate 10. I think we're all better off for that one.

No word on when and if the event will be rescheduled.

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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke