Walt Disney World to boost its solar power capacity with two new 75MW solar facilities

Apr 22, 2021 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Thursday April 22, 2021 10:10am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Disney is adding to its existing clean energy capacity with two new 75MW solar facilities.

Walt Disney World and Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID) will be teaming up with utility partners to develop two new 75MW solar facilities, which are expected to come online in the next couple of years. Disney has not yet shared their location.

The two new sites, when combined with the two existing sites from 2016 and 2019, will mean that Walt Disney World’s total solar facilities will produce enough renewable energy to power up to 40% of its total annual energy consumption.

Disney World's most recent solar facility that came online early 2019 is made up of 500,000 solar panels and can provide up to 25% of Walt Disney World's power needs. The plant reduces annual greenhouse gas emissions by more than 52,000 metric tons, or the equivalent of removing 9300 cars from the road each year.

The plant, located on the east side of the 429 near to Flamingo Crossing, is more than twice the size of the Magic Kingdom. As you can see from the video below, it takes almost 2 minutes traveling at 70mph to go from end-to-end.

This new solar facilities are far bigger than the first, which opened in 2016. That facility is a 22 acres with 48,000 panels, bringing 5 megawatts of power generation to the resort.

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ryguyApr 26, 2021

Use the parking lots and/or existing roofs.

jt04Apr 25, 2021

Unless they are planning some sort of high cost, state of the art, and equally cool looking solar cells, it would be much better if they went with some GotG-esque space decor. πŸ‘½πŸŒƒ IMO

JoeCamelApr 25, 2021

I can't tell if they really are putting panels back on the roof or just making it look like panels are up there

ABQApr 25, 2021

I know a good place for some solar panels....

ThelazerApr 25, 2021

build coverings for the parking lots, shade for the cars and guests, solar on the roof.

JoeCamelApr 25, 2021

That would be responsible but the added cost and complicated maintenance for the panels and HVAC in the buildings makes it a non starter for this company. EEA being the exception, I wonder if those will be real or Memorex?

doctornickApr 25, 2021

Should really consider putting them on any roofs that can be seen from the Skyliner or Monorail, etc. If you are going to have "poor show" of obvious roofs, at least spin it as a positive by looking green (can even incorporate it into their on board spiel)

JoeCamelApr 25, 2021

Lots of roofs too

Nubs70Apr 25, 2021

Carton board box?

spock8113Apr 24, 2021

Parking lots and garages should be covered with panels. There are acres and acres of those. The panel trays provide shade for your car and create energy all at the same time. It's the "Sunshine State"!!!!!!DUH!

cjkeatingApr 24, 2021

The master plan has the third park (I personally feel like there is room for a 4th if they are WDSP 2.0 sized and/or a secondary Disney Village) in the large area on the right hand side of the map that is multiple green/yellow fields, additional hotels to go in the green field between Newport Bay/Sequoia and the third park plot. The small yellow field at the top right hand corner near Santa Fe is also a hotel plot. The rest of the land with the exception of the hotel plots that are well know about on the opposite side of the road to Newport Bay is mainly Val D'Europe land.

jt04Apr 23, 2021

https://www.energy.gov/ne/articles/nrc-approves-first-us-small-modular-reactor-design This is for your future reference. The rendering is of a facility that would have ~12 individual reactors. WDW wouldn't need near that many. And will then be 100% emission free. Because busses can run on hydrogen which nuclear plants can produce when they are bored. Or as some people say 'non-peak hours'. Because nuclear is 24/7/365 generally speaking. 🚌 In 20 years solar will have mostly been a transitional technology except for specific applications. IMO. It's all about the Ergs or should I say BTUs since this is a British site.

FerretAfrosApr 23, 2021

From a quick eyeball guesstimate, only about half of the land within Disneyland Resort Paris has been developed, including areas that are reserved for expansion of the two existing parks. In the image below, the main parking lot is at the top center, with Disneyland Parc to the left of it, and Walt Disney Studios Pac below that. Disney Village and the hotels are the remainder of the development in the top portion. The bottom portion within the ring road is Val d'Europe, which is a master-planned community with a huge shopping mall and budget-friendly hotel options, sort of a French equivalent of Celebration. The remainder of the land remains undeveloped; prior to Disney taking control of it in the late 80's, it was agricultural land (mostly beet farms). DLRP also includes some land outside the ring road for golf courses, Davy Crockett Ranch, and Villages Nature; I'm not sure the exact extents, but I believe most of it is already developed. They're contractually required to open a third park (though the date has been pushed off), but it's unclear exactly where that will be located. Presumably they wouldn't want to use new land for solar, if they're expecting to build something else on it in the near- to medium-future, which helps justify the additional cost of placing it above the parking. It's this opportunity cost of development that bothers me most about how Disney has added to their US resorts, particularly in recent years. Sure, not all the land that is suitable for a solar farm would be suitable for a hotel tower or a rollercoaster, but that doesn't mean the land couldn't be used for something else that adds to the experience; why use that land exclusively for solar, if it can be combined with something else? Is it really worth spending over a billion dollars and reconfiguring major longstanding parts of Disneyland's infrastructure, to add a land with a massive footprint but only two new attractions and few possibilities for future additions? Is it worth losing a 45-minute long attraction for a 2-3 minute rollercoaster featuring an IP flavor-du-jour that may or may not even still be relevant by the time it opens? Is it worth losing a park's mission statement attraction for a fun diversion that could have easily been placed elsewhere? So many projects are being done for today's immediate needs, with little consideration for how the larger environment will operate 5, 10, and 15 years into the future. I also expect that the political incentives and social expectations for how to incorporate solar vary greatly between France and Florida, along with the baseline energy costs that might make different solutions more palatable. Ultimately, it comes down to the desire to do things with an eye toward the future, whether that means the near-future possibilities for other development, or the long-term future environmental impacts of sprawling single-use facilities. In France, it would seem they've got it. In Florida...not so much.

DisneyCaneApr 23, 2021

Does DLP have the land available to clear and use as a dedicated solar power plant like WDW? If the only option is over the parking lot than there isn't a cost/benefit analysis like WDW.