Sustainability Infrastructure

Walt Disney World Resort to be powered up to 40 percent by solar energy

Walt Disney Company said it will install two new 75-megawatt solar arrays in Florida’s Gilchrist County and Polk County that will span over 1,000 total acres.
In this Jan. 9, 2019 photo, guests watch a show near a statue of Walt Disney and Micky Mouse in front of the Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, part of the Orlando area in Fla.

Story at a glance

  • Walt Disney Company is installing two new solar arrays in Florida that will power Walt Disney World Resort starting next year.

  • The project will make Disney the largest commercial consumer of solar in Florida. 

  • The new solar arrays will introduce nearly half a million solar panels, capable of producing more than 375,000-megawatt hours of carbon-free solar energy in their first full year of operations. 

Walt Disney has announced a strategic step toward achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, putting up two new solar facilities that will power up to 40 percent of the resort’s annual electricity needs. In an announcement on Monday, The Walt Disney Company said it will install two new 75-megawatt solar arrays in Florida’s Gilchrist County and Polk County that will span over 1,000 total acres. They are expected to come online near Walt Disney World Resort in 2023. 

Both arrays will allow Disney to harness the sun’s power without depending on sunny skies solely in one area. The project will make Disney the largest commercial consumer of solar in Florida.  

The new solar arrays combined will introduce nearly half a million solar panels capable of producing more than 375,000-megawatt hours of carbon-free solar energy in their first full year of operation — equivalent to removing 29,500 cars from the roads every year. 


America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news. 


Both new solar arrays, in combination with existing solar sources, will power up to 40 percent of Disney World’s annual electricity needs. Disney has already installed solar arrays at its Castaway Cay private island resort in the Bahamas and at Hong Kong Disneyland. 

“This latest step will help us further accomplish our goal of net zero emissions by 2030. Our commitment to the environment goes beyond imagining a brighter, more sustainable future by putting possibility into practice to ensure a happier, healthier planet for all,” said Jeff Vahle, president of the Walt Disney World Resort, to ABC News

Disney has another solar energy project underway at Disneyland Paris that includes massive solar canopies to be built over the resort’s main guest parking lot. Those solar panels are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 750 tons of carbon dioxide per year while also providing shade and shelter from severe weather 

The company’s environmental goals include achieving net-zero emissions for direct operations by 2030, 100 percent zero carbon electricity by 2030, harnessing innovation for low carbon fuels and invest in natural climate solutions.  

Disney isn’t the only company attempting to step up its efforts to combat its climate footprint, as national retailer Target also unveiled its first net-zero energy store. It includes 1,800 solar carport panels along with 1,620 solar rooftop panels, expected to produce up to a 10 percent energy surplus annually. 

Target has also established a goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions enterprise wide by 2040, hoping to produce 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources for its operations by 2030. 


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA 

OMICRON LASTS LONGER ON SURFACES AND SKIN THAN PREVIOUS VARIANTS: STUDIES 

FORMER EDUCATION SECRETARY CALLS FOR CANCELLATION OF DEBT FOR ALL STUDENT LOAN HOLDERS 

TEXAS HAS ENOUGH WIND AND SOLAR POWER TO REPLACE COAL ALMOST ENTIRELY 

HERE ARE THE LAWMAKERS THAT REPRESENT THE LARGEST UKRAINIAN COMMUNITIES IN THE US 

NASA’S MARS HELICOPTER WILL CONTINUE FLYING ON RED PLANET