Walt Disney World Resort celebrated Earth Day, April 22, 2019, with the unveiling of a massive new 270-acre, solar facility, located adjacent to State Road 429. This new solar facility was built in collaboration with the Reedy Creek Improvement District and solar developer Origis Energy USA, harnessing power from the sun to bring the magic to life for guests visiting from around the globe. The facility features over half a million solar panels over the 270-acres of land and is capable of reaching 50 megawatts of power.
The facility is expected to generate enough renewable clean energy to operate two of Disney’s four theme parks in Central Florida annually. The solar facility will also significantly reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50,000 tons per year, which is the equivalent of removing about 10,000 cars from the roads annually.
“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. The environmental and horticulture experts will also be 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.
Disney’s new 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.
During the peak sun hours, the solar facility will produce up to 25% of Walt Disney World’s power needs and will generate enough renewable clean energy to power two of Walt Disney World’s four theme parks annually.
These conservation efforts build on the longtime commitment to environmental stewardship by The Walt Disney Company, a tradition that began with Walt Disney himself, and has grown through the creativity and passion of its cast members.