Solar Is Powering the Happiest Place on Earth
Tuesday, Oct 16 2018
Mickey Mouse is taking off his white gloves and putting on his hard hat.
Disney is currently in the process of building a solar array that will change the way they power their parks, making Disney World a cleaner, more efficient place and setting a model for corporations across America.
Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida is no stranger to the power of the sun. Epcot, one of the many parks at Walt Disney World, receives some of its power from a five-megawatt solar farm in the shape of Disney’s iconic Mickey Mouse. The array, known as the Hidden Mickey solar farm, is part of a 15-year agreement with Duke Energy.
Earlier this year, Walt Disney World Resort announced a partnership with Reedy Creek Improvement District and solar project developer Origis Energy USA that will blow the Hidden Mickey solar farm out of the water. The new 50-megawatt solar farm will house half a million solar panels and produce enough energy to power two of its four theme parks in Central Florida.
The panels are part of an initiative by Disney to reduce their net emissions by 50 percent by the year 2020. With a little more than a year left to achieve this goal, the Disney-themed array puts them right on target. The company announced in 2017 that it has already reduced net emissions by 41 percent. The solar facility is estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 57,000 tons per year.
Disney is one of the many top brands that are putting their faith in solar energy. SEIA’s Solar Means Business report tracks a variety of commercial solar installations, many of whom are Fortune 500 companies.
The Solar Means Business 2017 report contains data from over 4,000 companies, totaling more than 2.5 gigawatts of solar capacity across approximately 7,400 solar projects. This number has grown over the past year as more companies have seen the value of powering their businesses with solar, including Disney.
As Walt Disney once said, “the way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing”. We cannot achieve SEIA’s vision of a strong and resilient solar industry without the support of business across America. Together we can grow to become a larger, more unified and more diverse industry.