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EGEB: Disney’s solar farm, Mount Rushmore’s solar carport, NY wind farm, and more

In today’s EGEB:

  • Walt Disney World’s new solar farm takes up more space than two Magic Kingdom parks.
  • Mount Rushmore is unveiling a solar carport.
  • New York approves a new 100 MW wind farm.
  • Lansing, Mich. looks to make all city buildings run on renewable energy.
  • A San Antonio mall gets rooftop solar.

Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

Walt Disney World is using a new 270-acre solar farm that takes up as much space as its Magic Kingdom park — times two. A number of reporters got a tour of the new 50 MW facility last week, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

The new solar farm features more than 500,000 solar panels which move to follow the sun, and it can produce enough electricity to run two of Disney’s parks. Officials said 25 percent of the entire Walt Disney World Resort runs on solar power during “pristine sunny conditions.” Epcot center also has Mickey Mouse-shaped solar panels, though the new solar farm will deliver the vast majority of solar power at the Resort.

Disney is looking to cut its emissions in half by next year, when compared to 2012 levels.

Mt. Solarmore

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is debuting a new solar carport from Xanterra today. The Thomas Jefferson Solar Canopy will provide more than half of the electricity used by Xanterra’s gift shop and restaurant at Mount Rushmore.

The 346 kW project features 975 solar panels on top of a carport. It will actually be the second-largest solar installation in South Dakota, and it should reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the gift shop and restaurant by 24 percent.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is one of 120 members in the National Park Service’s Climate Friendly Parks program. The park agrees to focus on sustainability, energy reduction, and more.

Haliade-X Update

NY Wind Farm

The New York State Public Service Commission approved the construction and operation of the Ball Hill Wind Farm in Chautauqua County. The 100 MW wind farm will generate enough electricity for more than 28,000 average-sized residential homes.

Ball Hill Wind Farm will include 29 turbines, a 25.6-mile 34.5 kilovolt (kV) electrical collection system, which will mostly be underground, and a new substation to interconnect with a nearby National Grid 230 kV system. PSC Chair John B. Rhodes said,

“New York State has ambitious clean energy goals that require the smart, aggressive development of renewable energy. Appropriately sited wind farms are a necessary component of our clean energy future. As we look to celebrate Earth Day on Monday, today’s action demonstrates that New York can build clean energy projects and deliver clean energy economy jobs in a responsible and balanced manner.”

There has been lots of renewable energy news out of New York in recent weeks — including a presumed boost to solar and a modernization plan for the electrical grid — as the state looks to hit a goal of 70% renewable-generated electricity by 2030.

Lansing Renewable

Lansing, Michigan mayor Andy Schor revealed a plan in March to make the city the first in Michigan to use 100 percent renewable energy for all city government buildings, Great Lakes Echo reports. His proposal involves the purchase of renewable energy credits from the Lansing Board of Water and Light. The plan would take effect July 1 and would power all 187 city buildings.

Solar Shops

The Shops at La Cantera, a San Antonio-area mall, recently completed a solar project, and 1,500 solar panels are now delivering power to the 1.2 million square-foot mall, Spectrum News reports. Totaling 403 kW, the array will generate 590,000 kWh of electricity annually — nearly a quarter of the mall’s needs.

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