LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. April 2019 — With Earth Day just a few days away the Walt Disney World Resort is celebrating with the unveiling of a massive new 270-acre, 50-megawatt solar facility. Built in collaboration with the Reedy Creek Improvement District and solar developer Origis Energy USA, the new solar farm is harnessing power from the sun to bring the magic to life for guests visiting the Walt Disney World Resort from around the globe.
The Solar Facility
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.
- The facility features over half a million solar panels, 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 largestsolar facility in Orange County at 50 megawatts.
- This solar facility will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50,000 tons per year, 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 with 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.
Habitat For Native Wildlife
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 team is also managing and monitoring an experimental test garden at the facility. They want to conduct research and further enhance the habitat for years to come. 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.
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.