Disney Goes Solar to Power 2 Theme Parks

The 50-megawatt facility in Central Florida could supply as much as 25 percent of Walt Disney World's power needs.
5-megawatt Disney solar project located near Epcot

Walt Disney World Resort has partnered with Origis Energy USA and the Reedy Creek Improvement District to develop a  50-megawatt solar project that will power two of its theme parks in Central Florida. The company, in partnership with Duke Energy and Reedy Creek Improvement District, has already launched a 5-megawatt, Mickey Mouse-shaped solar farm near Epcot Center.

The project will be located near the Animal Kingdom park and construction is scheduled to begin in the next several months. It will comprise a half million solar panels spread across 270 acres and is anticipated to come online by the end of the year. The facility is anticipated to lower Disney’s annual greenhouse gas emissions by more than 57,000 metric tons—the equivalent of taking 9,300 cars off the road. Combined with the Mickey Mouse-shaped Epcot farm, the facilities will generate sufficient power to provide up to 25 percent of the power needs at Walt Disney World Resort. The project will add to the company’s 2020 goal to reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent compared to 2012.

The solar project will also focus on conservation efforts, as it will be designed as “pollinator friendly, with rich wildflowers and vegetation, creating a safe and welcoming habitat for butterflies, bees and other insects”, Dr. Mark Penning, vice president, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks, said in a prepared statement. The initiative aligns with the Disney Conservation Fund’s “Reverse the Decline” initiative, which aims to reverse the decline of 10 threatened species, including butterflies.

Image courtesy of Duke Energy