Walt Disney is known for producing never-ending amounts of fun and entertainment at their many resorts and amusement parks in Florida. But all those shining lights and exciting rides need electricity to operate. At one point, that meant they needed to use traditional energy sources created from fossil fuels. But that is quickly changing, as there is a new Walt Disney solar facility near Orlando that has just been completed. This means a lot less fossil fuels are used, which in turn means less pollution.
How much is “a lot less”? 50 MW of power, to be exact. Instead of coming from dirty fossil fuels, that 50 MW energy will be generated by the newest Walt Disney solar facility in Florida. Made up of 518,000 solar panels on 270 acres, this amount of electricity is enough to power two of their four theme parks. This is just one of Walt Disney Company’s initiatives to make the switch to greener, renewable energy. In 2016, a 5 MW Walt Disney solar facility was installed in the shape of the iconic mouse ears, and can provide up to 25% of the power needed for Disney World in Florida. Both of these solar projects are part of a large, company-wide push towards greener, more environmentally friendly practices. This newest Walt Disney solar facility will help reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by more than 52,000 metric tons, and move the company closer to lowering their corporate emissions.
Angie Renner, the Environmental Integration Director at Walt Disney, stated that they “are striving towards three main environmental goals: divert 60% of our waste from landfills by 2020, reduce net emissions 50% from 2012 levels by 2020, and reduce water consumption across the board.”
Walt Disney is once again creating an example for others in the entertainment industry. If Walt Disney’s solar facility can power two of their theme parks, perhaps others in the business will realize solar can do the same for them. So if the sun is making things a bit warm the next time you visit Disney World, just remember that it’s making all those amazing rides run, too.