McDonald's Unveils a Restaurant that Can Power Itself

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McDonald's exterior.

McDonald’s on Friday unveiled its new global flagship at Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort. The net-zero energy building features 1,066 solar panels on the roof canopy with the capability to create enough renewable energy on-site to cover all of the restaurant’s needs on a net annual basis. The panels alone can generate 600,000 kWh per year, the company said.

The outdoor porch skylights also feature 1,500 square feet of solar glass panels that create close to 70,000 kwH annually. Other features include: More than 600 square feet of louver windows that open and close automatically, bringing cool air in and warm air out; 1,700 square feet of green, plant-covered walls to absorb CO2; parking lots with solar powered poles that offset over 9,000 kWh per year; stationary bikes used by customers that turn people power into kinetic energy, which then power the McDonald’s Golden Arch string lights; and low-flow plumbing fixtures, watering draining pavers, and native Florida plants to ensure water is used efficiently and minimizes waste.

McDonald’s said the store would serve as a learning hub to test solutions for reducing energy and water use.

It’s located on the west side of Disney’s property on Buena Vista Drive near the All-Star Resorts, which are currently closed. During a soft-launch, the restaurant is open for drive thru and delivery only.

McDonald’s added it would pursue the International Living Future Institute’s Zero Energy Certification over the next year to solidify the concept’s net-zero energy status.

Here’s a look inside:

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McDonald's exteior.

The 8,024 square-foot restaurant features a v-shaped solar-paneled roof and photovoltaic glass panels integrated throughout the building.

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Green, plant-covered walls absorb CO2, promoting biodiversity and retaining water.

Green, plant-covered walls absorb CO2, promoting biodiversity and retaining water.

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McDonald's window panes.

Louvers open and close automatically ‘inhaling” cool air in and “exhaling” warm air out.

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Solar parking lot lights help offset more than 9,000 kWh per year.