A new solar facility designed in the shape of a “not-so-hidden-Mickey” is the latest step by Duke Energy to expand renewable energy in Central Florida.
Duke Energy joined with Walt Disney World Resort and Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID) to develop the five-megawatt solar facility located on 22 acres near Epcot. The facility is made of 48,000 solar panels and is operated by Duke Energy, which will sell the alternative energy to RCID to help meet the power needs of Walt Disney World Resort and its other customers, such as Four Seasons Resort and the hoteliers along Hotel Plaza Boulevard.
“We’re committed to providing our customers with greater access to renewable energy, and the Walt Disney World Solar Facility is one example of how we’re doing that,” said Alex Glenn, Duke Energy state president – Florida. “We appreciate this unique opportunity to collaborate with Reedy Creek Improvement District and Walt Disney World Resort to expand the use of solar energy generation in Florida.”
Disney, Duke Energy and RCID representatives commemorated the opening of the new facility by flipping a giant light switch at an event on Tuesday. The solar power plant is the equivalent of 1,000 residential solar rooftops systems.
“As a company that cares about the environment, we continually take steps of varying sizes to benefit the environment and protect the planet,” said Angie Renner, environmental integration director for Walt Disney World Resort. “This new solar facility will help us in our efforts to conserve natural resources.”
With its Florida regional headquarters located in St. Petersburg, Fla., Duke Energy is one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States. The new solar facility at Walt Disney World is one of several solar projects in development. By 2024, Duke Energy plans to add up to 500 megawatts of additional solar energy to Florida.