Walt Disney World Resort Celebrates Earth Day With New Massive Solar Facility
Earth Day is right around the corner (Monday April 22, 2019) and Walt Disney World is celebrating with the unveiling of a massive new 270-acre, 50-megawatt solar facility! This builds on the tradition of conservation efforts that began with Walt Disney himself. The Walt Disney Company has continued with this commitment that has has grown through the creativity and passion of its cast members.
This impressive new complex was built in collaboration with the Reedy Creek Improvement District and solar developer Origis Energy USA. It harnesses power from the sun to bring the magic to life for guests visiting from around the globe!
Located adjacent to State Road 429, the facility is expected to generate enough renewable clean energy to operate two of Disney’s four theme parks in Central Florida annually. It will also significantly reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by tens of thousands of tons per year, joining the numerous efforts The Walt Disney Company has launched to deliver its 2020 goal of reducing emissions by 50% compared to 2012.
“At Disney, every day is Earth Day, and we hope our guests and cast members will be as inspired and amazed as we are at what this new solar facility means for our community and planet,” said Angie Renner, Environmental Integration Director, Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products. “This is an ambitious step forward for our renewable energy efforts.”
The solar facility is also providing an important habitat for native wildlife in Central Florida. A team of environmental and horticulture experts from Disney collaborated to help make more than two-thirds of the facility pollinator friendly, with the goal of creating a nurturing and welcoming habitat for butterflies, bees and other insects, including endangered and at-risk species. This team is also managing and monitoring an experimental test garden at the facility to conduct research and further enhance the habitat. The effort to safeguard endangered pollinators aligns with the Disney Conservation Fund’s ongoing focus on saving wildlife, including butterflies.
The solar facility represents the largest endeavor in solar energy to date for Disney’s global theme park operations. In 2016, Walt Disney World Resort unveiled a 22-acre, 5-megawatt solar facility shaped like Mickey Mouse, as part of a collaboration with the Reedy Creek Improvement District and Duke Energy. Both facilities are contributing to Disney’s long-term sustainability goals, which include reaching zero net greenhouse gas emissions, reaching zero waste, reducing single-use plastics and conserving water resources.
- The facility features over half a million solar panels. It also spans 270 acres and is capable of reaching 50 megawatts of power.
- During peak sun hours, up to 25% of Walt Disney World’s power needs will be met through solar energy.
- The facility will generate enough renewable clean energy to power two of Walt Disney World’s four theme parks annually.
- This is the largest solar facility in Orange County at 50 megawatts.
- This solar facility will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50,000 tons per year. This is the equivalent of removing about 10,000 cars from the roads annually.
- Disney environmental and horticulture experts helped make more than two-thirds of the facility pollinator friendly. This includes plant species that attract insects like butterflies and bees.
- This solar facility provides power to Walt Disney World Resort, the largest single-site employer in the country.
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