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IKEA to install solar panels on midtown store

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - The new IKEA store in St. Louis plans to use the sun to keep the power on in the huge business. Construction is moving full speed ahead for the new IKEA store. Right now, there's not much happening on the roof but this spring it will start to look similar to this IKEA in Denver.  It will be covered with more than 4,000 solar panels.

All the solar panels will create a lot of electricity each year, enough to power 169 homes. It also means reducing carbon dioxide by more than 1200 tons that's equal to the output of 258 cars.

IKEA said it takes several years to get a return on the cost of a solar investment but it's worth it.

Joseph Roth is an IKEA spokesman.  Roth said, "IKEA has solar panels atop nearly 90 percent of our locations. We would not being so if we would not realize a net return on our investment.  That makes it both the right thing to do and a smart business decision to make."

Solar power is big in St. Louis. Ameren Missouri recently opened the O'Fallon renewable energy center, complete with some 19,000 solar panels. In 2013 the company made $92 million in solar rebates to customers. And now IKEA is taking advantage of the sun.

By 2020 the company hopes to produce as much energy as it uses.