​We help IKEA execute the state's largest solar array

(1/24/17) As companies locally and around the world are trying to “think green” in terms of energy use, we are playing our part. Thanks to us, REC Solar, A&R Solar and IKEA, IKEA’s new store in Renton will feature the state’s largest solar array. REC Solar, a corporate renewable expert based in California and New Jersey, created the original designs, A&R Solar installed them and we made sure they met our standards.

 
The primary goal among those involved was that the installation of the solar array wouldn’t make the system dangerous in the event of a power outage. Because of how the solar array works, it sends back any energy it’s not currently using, meaning there is always a possibility a wire is live, presenting a safety issue for any servicemen or citizen in the area. We made sure that wasn’t going to be a problem.
           
Along with making sure the array met our safety standards, we made minor equipment updates in our system to make sure the interconnection of the array to the system was a possibility. Additionally, we helped lower the costs of construction by half a million dollars. This was made possible by clipping the solar output to stay under the amount that would require immense amounts of safety-related construction done to the wires running to and from the store.
 
Built with 3,268  photovoltaic panels, the array will have a generating capacity of 792 kW, which will meet much of the store’s energy consumption requirements on an annual average. In the summer it will naturally produce more energy than the store can use, and on cloudy days the store will be dependent on system power from the grid. All of the interconnection costs attributable to the project were paid for by IKEA. 
 
-- Austin Melhart