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Parking to power the magic? Huge solar project rumour

Friday, 8th January 2010 at 13:36 by
Anthony
3 Comments

Parking to power the magic? Huge solar project rumoursRumours suggest the vast main parking lot at Disneyland Paris could soon provide not just a place for guests to leave their cars, but a clever source of renewable energy -- covered in photovoltaic cells to become France's biggest solar power plant!,

There are suggestions that Euro Disney SCA, operating group of Disneyland Paris, could be about to sign a landmark agreement with French energy partner EDF.

Currently, as visitors arrive at the resort by car or coach, they’re greeted by a pleasant — but exceptionally large — parking space. A huge expanse of tarmac poured nonchalantly over the former fields of Marne-la-Vallée, this has perhaps never been the best of first impressions for the French to become enamoured with Disney’s controversial arrival.

Parking to power the magic? Huge solar project rumours

However, according to rumours now doing the message board rounds, the flat, single-level parking lot serving the two Disney Parks — with more than 11,000 car parking spaces — would be covered end to end in so-called “Ombrières”, a patented type of solar power canopy covered in photovoltaic cells.

An unfortunate necessity becomes a publicity coup?

Creating electricity which can then be used on-site or sold back into the grid, the futuristic canopies also collect rainwater to reduce piped water usage as well as protecting people — and their cars — from the elements, be they a rainstorm or a scorching hot day.

Parking to power the magic? Huge solar project rumours

Rather than your car burning up in the full heat of the Summer sun, that energy would be transformed into real power — possibly even to power your ride on Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster or Phantom Manor!

The idea is not entirely new, already being in use at locations such as the E-Leclerc shopping centre near Montpellier seen in these photos. These canopies are manufactured by French company SunVie. Should the enormous parking surface at Disneyland Paris be covered by “solar panels” like these, it would apparently become the largest such energy plant in France and almost certainly one of the largest in Europe.

Parking to power the magic? Huge solar project rumours

Naturally, after the initial excitement at such a prospect, thoughts are now turning to the visual impact of the “Ombrières” which, whilst actually functionally good-looking, would probably contrast a bit too much with the more whimsical structures already dotted around the parking lot, such as the canopies of the moving walkways.

To redesign them with a little more Disney spark certainly wouldn’t be hard, but multiplied over several hundred rows could amount to a restrictively large rise in construction costs.

Indeed, details so far are rather sketchy as to how such a project would be managed between Euro Disney and EDF — who would pay for the set-up, who would get the power generated? Nevertheless, this would be a sure-fire publicity winner for the resort, and hopefully more than just blue sky (solar) thinking…

• See more details, photos and a video here.

Images: DLRP Today; SunVie. News via Parcs et Companie, thanks to lil-shawn (magicforum).

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Comments

  • It would certainly be a good investment if they did this.

  • It looks great, but I think it ruins the view of the parking lot.
    It’s not a greatly decorated place, but it sure has something, a kind of magical thing.
    That will be lost if you place those things there..

  • I’m sorry but i do agree with you here. I dont belive that there is a maqic touch to the parking lot. It would a big investment and on the long run it would surely look good and would perfectly match the ‘disney’ style and of course cut them cost

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