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The Epcot Center at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Photo: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images

Disney Orlando flipped the switch on Feb. 27 on a brand new 50-megawatt solar farm, which produces enough electricity to power 10,000 homes.

Why it matters: Amusement parks and resorts consume a great amount of energy during the day during peak hours. Installing renewable energy systems using renewables in a visible way not only reduces carbon emissions, but also displays a commitment to sustainability to park-goers. 

The details: Built in collaboration with Reedy Creek Improvement District and Origis Energy USA, the farm comprises 518,000 solar panels and sits on a 270-acre plot adjacent to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It will generate 50 megawatts of clean electricity to power two of the four Orlando resort properties annually, or 25% of the entire Disney property.

  • The project is expected to reduce greenhouse emissions by 57,000 tons, tantamount to removing 9,300 cars from the road

Background: Solar projects are not new to Disney. The park launched solar power projects as early as the 1980s.  In 2016, Disney installed a smaller 5-megawatt solar farm near the new installation in the shape of Mickey Mouse's head, which provides power for some of the attractions and features at Epcot Center.

What’s next: Disney has launched initiatives to reduce emissions in its organization to 50% of 2012 levels by 2020. Other environmental goals include diverting 60% of waste from landfills by 2020 and reducing water consumption.

  • Other theme parks are announcing plans to use renewables, including Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey, which is aiming to open the first solar-powered theme park in 2020.  

Maggie Teliska is a technical specialist at Caldwell Intellectual Property Law, an intellectual property law firm, and CTO of Regent Power. She is also a member of GLG, a platform connecting businesses with industry experts.

Go deeper

Scoop: Trump-backed Perdue says he wouldn’t have certified Georgia 2020 results

Perdue at a December 2020 campaign event in Columbus, Ga. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue wouldn’t have signed the certification of the state’s 2020 election results if he had been governor at the time, the former Senate Republican told Axios.

  • “Not with the information that was available at the time and not with the information that has come out now. They had plenty of time to investigate this. And I wouldn’t have signed it until those things had been investigated and that’s all we were asking for," he said.

Why it matters: There has been no evidence widespread fraud took place in Georgia's elections last year and the November results were counted three times, once by hand.

Beijing Olympics: These countries have announced diplomatic boycotts

Photo: Zhang Qiang/VCG via Getty Images

Several countries, including Canada and Australia, have announced they will join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to protest human rights abuses committed by China's government.

Driving the news: Leaders have faced pressure from human rights groups and others to boycott the Games, pointing to the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang region and other abuses.

Biden directs federal government to become carbon neutral by 2050

President Biden speaking to reporters outside of the White House on Dec. 8.

President Biden signed an executive order Wednesday that requires the federal government achieve multiple goals related to reducing its carbon emissions, including achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Why it matters: Meeting the objectives of the order would require a massive investment by the federal government to buy electric vehicles, upgrade buildings and change how it procures electricity.