FISHERS — Swedish retailer IKEA plans to install the state’s largest retail rooftop solar array on its Fishers store slated to open this fall.
The store’s 219,000-square-foot solar array will include 3,888 panels and will reduce the equivalent of 1,358 tons of carbon dioxide — equal to the emissions of 260 cars or providing electricity for 182 homes yearly, according to a press release.
The project is one in a series of solar-power projects for the company that has installed solar systems atop nearly 90 percent of its U.S. locations.
The 289,000-square-foot future IKEA Fishers is currently under construction on 35 acres along the eastern side of Interstate 69 just south of the 116th Street exit, approximately 15 miles northeast of downtown Indianapolis.
The project is part of the company’s plan to be energy independent by 2020. IKEA has already installed more than 700,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and owns nearly 300 wind turbines.
“We are excited about furthering our sustainability commitment and contributing to a low-carbon society with solar panels on this Indianapolis-area store,” said Lars Petersson, IKEA's U.S. president. “At IKEA, we have a mission to create a better everyday life for the many, and IKEA Fishers can add to this goal with Indiana’s largest retail solar rooftop installation.”
The decision to use solar power comes at a time when the state is looking to lower incentives for business and personal solar energy production.
Gov. Eric Holcomb is set to sign Senate Bill 309 in the coming days, which would slowly do away with a process called net-metering, which allows solar customers to sell back produced energy at a retail rate. After the bill becomes law, solar energy producers will receive smaller payments for energy added to the grid.
Joseph Roth, a representative for IKEA, said the Fishers location would not be affected by the bill because the solar project would not produce excess energy, and instead works only to supplement the store’s energy needs.
“We would not be in the position of selling anything back to the grid,” he said.