Disney World has unveiled a huge new 270-acre solar farm, consisting of half-a-million 50 megawatt solar panels. To put that in perspective, the farm is nearly twice the size of the Magic Kingdom Park.
Reportedly the equivalent of taking around 10,000 cars off the road, the new farm is Disney’s biggest-ever facility of this nature. It’s the second to appear at Disney World, after the Mickey Mouse-shaped solar creation in 2016, which spanned 22 acres.
According to Good Morning America (GMA), it’s expected the new facility will generate enough energy to power two theme parks at Walt Disney World resort in Florida.
“Here at Disney, every day is Earth Day,” said Angie Renner, the Environmental Integration Director of Disney Parks. “[These projects] tag onto a long legacy of environmental stewardship that started with Walt [Disney].”
Was Walt Disney an Environmentalist?
According to the Ultimate History Project, Walt Disney’s “role as a conservationist is highly debated and historically murky.” However, it adds that there is evidence to suggest that the world-famous American entrepreneur did really care about the planet.
“The centerpiece of Disney’s conservation work was his True Life Adventures films,” the publication explains. “This collection of over a dozen short and feature-length nature documentaries brought nature to millions of people from 1948… well into the 1960s.”
Disney is now embracing this reputation as a company, as millions of people around the world become more concerned about climate change and what we can do to save the planet and the species that inhabit it.
Renner said, “I hope everyone is as excited as we are to harness the power of the sun and about this new renewable facility that’s helpng bring magic and clean energy to the Disney Resort.”
A Solar Haven for Pollinators
According to GMA, the giant new solar farm doubles as a habitat for wildlife, nurturing bees and butterflies. Two-thirds of the farm is pollinator-friendly and some areas will also serve as test gardens for environmental and horticulture experts.
“We know [pollinators] give back to us so much so we’re trying to create that habitat for them,” said Rachel Smith, a conservation programs manager for Disney’s Animals, Science, and Environment team.