Disney World are building an enormous Mickey Mouse shaped solar farm to be installed over 20 acres. The huge installation will be visible from the air, which designers hope will draw attention to both solar energy and Disney World itself.
The world famous resort has partnered with renewable energy supporter Duke Energy and the Reedy Creek Improvement District to complete the enormous project. Once completed, the giant Mickey Mouse will provide 100 percent of the resort’s energy.
Fossil fuel company, Duke Energy will be building and operating a 48,000-panel solar farm, which is projected to generate approximately 5 megawatts of electricity at the solar farm’s location near Epcot Centre Drive and World Drive. The energy will then be channelled to Reedy Creek Improvement District, the land manager of the sprawling fun-filled resort.
Disney World to Run On 100% Renewable Energy
As part of a 15-year power purchase agreement, the deal has been sealed by the district’s Board of Supervisors. This is in the hope of reducing its environmental impact and lessening the carbon dioxide emissions coming from park and resorts operations.
Due to be completed this year, the Reedy Creek Improvement District will buy the electricity from Duke Energy and distribute the energy to its customers. One of its major consumers in the area is none other than Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
“Disney is known as an environmentally responsible company across the globe. We are committed to the planet’s utmost protection and conservation. By utilizing clean energy like solar power, we are actually putting our creativity into action. With innovation like this, we can ensure responsible management of the natural resources surrounding our facility,” said Jackie Ogden, VP of animals, science and environment at Walt Disney Park and Resorts.
Coal and Oil Company Joins the Renewable Energy Revolution
Duke Energy is a prominent operator of coal and natural gas plants in the region but recent projects are leaning towards a focus on clean energy alternatives. In April this year, the company announced plans to build 500 megawatts of solar installations across Florida by 2024.
“Our commitment to working responsibly with our customers lies in the idea of expanding their utilization of renewable energy. The opportunity of serving the Reedy Creek Improvement District is a definitive example of our dedication in delivering concrete renewable solutions to benefit our customers’ interests” added Duke Energy President, Alex Green.
The solar facility for Reedy Creek Improvement District, however, commenced construction this year and has been forecast for completion by the end of the year.
In addition to their solar initiative, Disney World is in the midst of converting its 300-plus fleet to cleaner sources of fuel. It hopes to cut its carbon dioxide emissions in half this year alone.
The innovative plan will see the Disney bus fleet become the first of its kind to run on a renewable diesel fuel made from a non-consumable food waste and used cooking oil called R50.