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Aruba, October 4, 2013 - Ikea, the biggest home-furnishing retailer, tied up with Hanergy Solar Group Ltd. (566) to sell solar-panel systems in its 18 U.K. stores for the first time. Ikea will sell the systems in all U.K. shops within 10 months after a successful trial in July, it said in a statement. The Hong Kong producer will offer its thin-film panels, as well as consultation, installation and maintenance services. 
Solar panels line the roof of Ikea's Brooklyn store, in 2011 in New York. The 19,000-square feet of panels will generate 240,000 kWh of electricity for the store. 

The deal shows how photovoltaic power is moving into the mainstream in the U.K., where more than 400,000 small solar systems operate. Price drops and state subsidies have doubled installations since the end of 2011, government figures show. 

Ikea will offer standard 3.36-kilowatt photovoltaic systems for 5,700 pounds ($9,200) upfront, as well as a leasing option. “In our opinion it’s the first time a truly global retailer has provided dedicated retail space and dedicated staff solely to PV,” Toby Ferenczi, co-chief executive officer of Hanergy’s U.K. unit, said by e-mail. Solar power is a part of Ikea’s plan to source all its energy from renewables by 2020. It has installed more than 500,000 panels on some of its 298 stores across the world.


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