Two new solar arrays coming online in 2023 will double Walt Disney World's solar capability

Apr 04, 2022 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Monday April 4, 2022 12:30pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Walt Disney World Resort’s available solar energy resources will more than double with two new solar arrays in 2023.

The two new 75 MW (megawatt) arrays will be located in Gilchrist County and Polk County on over 1,000 total acres, enabling Disney to generate solar power without depending on sunny skies in solely one area.

With this expansion, Disney will become one of the largest commercial consumers of solar in the state as the company moves towards delivering its 2030 goal of achieving net-zero emissions. When operational, Walt Disney World will be powered by 40% solar energy.

Both arrays are expected to be online by early 2023. Combined they will introduce nearly a half million solar panels capable of producing over 375,000 MWh (megawatt hours) of carbon-free solar energy in their first full year of operation. This is the equivalent of removing 29,500 automobiles from the roads every year.

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TikibirdLandApr 18, 2022

A ram air turbine is just the ticket 🤣

Dutch Inn '76Apr 15, 2022

Right. As I said, they're a waste of time since there will never be enough of it. The bad for the environment comment was a throwaway "also" comment at the end... It's nuke or hydrocarbons, or someday fusion.

GimpYancIentApr 15, 2022

Allegedly the EV's batteries will be recycled at the end of the EV's service life, interesting since spent batteries are actually hazardous waste. If what the EV advocates want is achieved that will be one big load of hazardous waste to recycle once the EV's start hitting the end of their service lives on mass.

mmascariApr 15, 2022

The water generally works better and is easier than air. Someone has a concept moving concrete blocks too. All of them are basically the same principle, add energy to something, let that energy sit there, later remove that energy. For water (and the concrete blocks), it's adding potential energy by moving them up hill. Later you them them fall to release that energy. With air, it's is a compression/expansion cycle. A battery works the same way, chemically instead. There's obviously losses for all of this, different with the different systems. Largely dependent on how much energy you need to add vs how much ends up stored vs how much can come back out. Generate a bunch of heat compressing the air, that's a loss. I've watched the concrete block articles a bunch of times, but haven't figured out how it could ever be more efficient than just pumping water. Of course, concrete doesn't evaporate. It may break and chip, but water leaks out too. Mother nature always trying to steal our stored water. Pumped hydro is actually way more efficient that most would assume. Not as much as say a Li-ion battery, but it scales in capacity and lifespan so much more that it comes out ahead in the long run. The plant I linked above has been in service since 1985. I never seen a Li-ion battery last for 35+ years.

danlb_2000Apr 15, 2022

I haven't read it yet but this books tried to make the case that we can power the world with primarily renewables like wind and solar with a little bit of nuclear.

DisneyCaneApr 15, 2022

It's a good concept for storage but there is going to be efficiency loss both in the pumping up to the high ground and then the conversion back to electricity through the turbines. I've seen some cool concepts (I don't know if they are implemented anywhere yet) using compressed air in the same manner.

ImperfectPixieApr 15, 2022

Until someone figures out how to charge the battery with the air flowing around the car while driving.

mmascariApr 15, 2022

Hydro Pumped Storage. It's a good solution when you have lots of excess cheap generation at one time of day, and then inadequate generation at other times of day. Especially if it's difficult to ramp the generation up and down to match load. Instead, you're ramping up and down extra load by turning the pumps on and off. Which is better than just adding load that wastes the energy. I think this is the largest one in the country.

HauntedPirateApr 15, 2022

It's certainly possible, without a doubt. But now imagine every car, truck, SUV, and semi on the road is electric and needs charging along all our interstates.

mmascariApr 15, 2022

What would make Wind or Solar any different to send over transmission lines than anything else? Once it hits the transmission line, it's not like it looks any different, no matter the source it started from. That's a start up and shutdown characteristic as power plants are managed to match usage. Nuclear isn't a great example here, as it's kind of a pain to ramp up and down and a huge pain to turn off and back on. Of course, when you exclude initial investment and only manage on the price per kilowatt produced to run, nuclear is so much cheaper than fossil fuels that utilities just run it all the time as base generation and ramp the others up and down instead. It's kind of a bummer that hydro has a relatively easy ramp down and up characteristic, just flow less water, but that it's price to run per kilowatt is so low that it also tends to be part of base generation and run all the time too. Wind and Solar have their own issues with ramping up and down, mostly that they're subject to outside conditions imposing that instead of only a management decision. It's why good wind installations are done in areas that basically always have wind. The only reason we talk about storage in relation to Wind and Solar is to smooth out those outside disruptions and to provide power when there's no wind or sun. But, if you just keep something else in the mix instead of a "100% can only have wind and solar" solution, that other thing can act as the buffer instead of storage. We need a mix of generation, with different parts having different characteristics. Each optimized for the value add that one brings. There is no single one best, but a best system outcome instead. Just like there's no one best ride for providing capacity at the park. It needs a mix of omnimovers, thrill rides, shows, small, and large. Each brings it's own advantages and disadvantages. The mix creates something better than the parts. PS: A jet engine powered by natural gas or jet fuel has amazing ramp up and down characteristics. It's bad at just about everything else, but still an important niche.

JoeCamelApr 15, 2022

You would be surprised how many EVs you see far from population centers. The last couple of years I've been driving the country and noticed Teslas in the most unlikely places and they were packed for a trip.

HauntedPirateApr 15, 2022

How do I charge up my electric vehicle when driving through BFE Nebraska, or Wyoming? Or in the mountains in NC? Batteries and battery capacity are the keys, but they are limited by what amounts to horrible conversion of raw material into end product plus mining practices. Unless someone figures out how to recycle batteries, electric vehicles are a losing proposition. Solar conversion rates get above 50% and you have something to work with (just in general, not for vehicle power).

TikibirdLandApr 15, 2022

There are places where wind is very dependable, West Texas for example. I don't know how much it's used, but I read an article about the use of reservoirs for storing water for use in Hyrdro-electric generation. Off peak, water is pumped into the higher reservoir and routed back to the main supply when needed. Very interesting concept.

TikibirdLandApr 15, 2022

same could be said for nuclear. If there was a to use steam directly, you *may* be able to harness more energy in watts. But, There's that pesky rotating generator to deal with. Of course, most Wind and Solar have converters that step them up to line power as well. Efficient? Not really. IMO, the primary issue with Solar and Wind is scale. I'm not sure we can ever scale it to the point of eliminating the use of carbon to generate electricity.