The 22-acre facility provides solar power to the resort park but is operated by Duke Energy.
By Orlando Sentinel (TNS)
Portland Press Herald news story
ORLANDO, Fla. — Duke Energy and Walt Disney World officials on Tuesday announced details of a Mickey-shaped solar farm near Epcot.
The five-megawatt solar farm is being called the Walt Disney World Solar Facility. It is visible from the air as a giant Mickey Mouse shape.
The farm is about 22 acres, part of a 15-year agreement that allows Duke Energy to build, own and operate the farm on Disney’s land. In return, the farm will provide solar power to Walt Disney World.
It’s taken Disney a while to build a large-scale solar facility, but the Epcot area is no stranger to solar panels. Epcot’s Universe of Energy building has had panels on its roof since October 1982.
On Tuesday, Angie Renner, Disney World’s environmental integration director, helped Duke Energy state president Alex Glenn throw a giant symbolic switch to signify the facility coming online. In actuality, the facility has been generating power since March.
On Tuesday, a bright sunny day resulted in a high-pitched whine from the converters at the facility, meaning it was cranking out power.
Renner said the solar farm was part of a visioning process for 2020 projects, and was a result of combined discussions about solar between Disney World, Duke, and Reedy Creek Improvement District. He also said Disney has invested in converting its bus fleet to a cleaner diesel fuel made from vegetable oil.