Category Archives: Environmental Initiatives

Our green initiatives are making other businesses green with envy!

Keep Polk County BeautifulLEGOLAND® Florida Resort recently took top honors for its 2016 environmental efforts among businesses, nonprofits, municipalities and communities in Florida’s Polk County.

The prestigious Environmental Champion Award from Keep Polk County Beautiful is an annual honor that salutes the business that best exemplifies efforts in areas such as litter prevention, beautification, recycling and pollution prevention. LEGOLAND Florida Resort was recognized for:

  • Proactive recycling efforts, including the introduction of 10 brand-new recycling streams in 2016, bringing the site total to 20.
  • Increasing the resort’s landfill diversion efforts by 15 percent.
  • Identifying ways to proactively conserve energy, which has delivered energy savings equivalent to the annual electricity use of 21 homes.
  • Partnering with local utility Tampa Electric to install a 1.8-megawatt canopy of solar energy panels in the resort’s parking lot.
  • Installing a charging station for electric and hybrid vehicles at LEGOLAND Hotel.

Solar energy collected from the 1.8-megawatt parking lot canopy can power as many as 200 homes — or the entire LEGOLAND Hotel!

According to Miguel Velez, waste and environmental supervisor, the resort’s environmental sustainability efforts represent a team effort to find more and better ways to continue being a force for good.

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LEGOLAND® Florida Resort’s environmental efforts made awesome impacts in 2016!

Just last year, LEGOLAND® Florida Resort introduced brand-new recycling initiatives that made a huge difference in the amount of material we recycle and the energy we save. With the help of our very own Waste & Environmental team and Model Citizens, the resort was able to recycle more than 1 million pounds of material through our day-to-day operations!

Here’s some of the stuff we recycled in 2016:

  • 215,000 pounds of cardboard
  • 55,000 pounds of paper (that’s 468 trees!)
  • 39,000 pounds of steel
  • 25,000 pounds of plastic
  • 4,000 pounds of aluminum
  • 11,000 pounds of car tires
  • 16,000 pounds of LEGO® bricks (including bricks recycled from our Merlin Magic Making facility in nearby Lake Wales, Fla.) — that’s enough bricks to build at least 16 copies of our #BrickPony model, the life-size replica of the original Ford Mustang on display outside Ford Driving School!
  • 2,000 pounds of soft LEGO bricks that can be found floating in our Build-a-Raft River in LEGOLAND Water Park

Fun fact: In 2016, LEGOLAND Florida Resort saved enough energy by recycling cardboard, plastic, steel and aluminum to power the theme park’s Heartlake City area for two years!

Another fun fact: We’ve saved a huge amount of energy. In fact, we saved enough energy to power 21 homes for a whole year!

And our energy saving efforts don’t stop there — 2017 is already off to a great start with a new energy-saving initiative that’s going to “light up” the theme park in a whole new way!

Stay tuned to learn more!

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Power up! Tampa Electric celebrates completion of 1.8-megawatt solar canopy at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort

This morning, LEGOLAND® Florida Resort celebrated Tampa Electric’s completion of a solar canopy over portions of our parking lot that’s now producing electricity — and shade — for guests. It’s a project we first announced on Earth Day earlier this year.

6-year-old Carson from West Palm Beach, Fla., flipped a giant switch made of LEGO® bricks to officially “power up” the new solar array.

Multiple rows of solar panels can produce enough electricity to power more than 200 homes and enough shade for more than 600 cars. It’s Tampa Electric’s second large-scale photovoltaic (PV) array to be installed in the communities it serves, and its first large-scale array in Polk County.

Solar energy collected from the panels can power the entire LEGOLAND Hotel!

Tampa Electric owns the PV array, and the electricity it produces goes to the grid, benefiting the company’s 730,000 customers, including LEGOLAND Florida Resort. The panels can generate enough electricity from the sun to power the resort’s 152-room LEGOLAND Hotel!

The new solar canopy provides shade for more than 600 guest vehicles in the LEGOLAND parking lot.

The new system joins a smaller PV installation already in the theme park. In 2014, the company installed solar panels atop Imagination Zone, a large, indoor attraction filled with hands-on science and engineering-based activities for kids. So far, Tampa Electric has installed nine community-based solar PV arrays that offer the public an opportunity to see solar up close and to learn about the technology.

Fun facts

  • Rated at 1.8 megawatts
  • Consists of 5,225 345-watt solar panels supported by 211 steel columns
  • Canopy contains more than 500,000 pounds of steel
  • Covers more than 116,000 square feet

Previously:

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‘Cool’ new solar energy project is the latest way we’re staying green

We’re teaming up with Tampa Electric on a 2-megawatt solar energy project that will produce electricity — and shade — for our guests, a project announced today as part of an Earth Day celebration at the resort #BuiltForKids.

CoveredParking2Beginning this spring, Tampa Electric will install a canopy of solar panels over our preferred parking lot, next to the theme park entrance.  When operational later this year, the project will produce enough electricity to power up to 250 homes annually, while keeping more than 600 cars cool.

Tampa Electric will own and maintain the solar array, with all power entering TECO’s electrical grid for the benefit of its more than 725,000 customers, including us!

150414_AR_DrivingSchool__A2O8078The solar energy project is just one of several ongoing environmental initiatives here.  In fact, we conserved enough energy though paper, cardboard and steel recycling in 2015 to power our newest theme park land, Heartlake City, for a year!  Here are some more fun facts on how we stay “green”:

 

  • Nearly 1 ton of LEGO® brick has been collected for recycling. It’s then redistributed to manufacture new products.
  • All 12 electric vehicles at the Ford Junior Driving School attraction are charged entirely with solar power.
  • A 30-kilowatt solar panel array is mounted atop Imagination Zone, supporting Tampa Electric’s Renewable Energy program.
  • Under the Citrus Connection Universal Access program, all Model Citizens who work here enjoy access to free bus rides, resulting in 22,581 fewer vehicle trips on area roads in 2015.
  • LEGOLAND Hotel works with Clean the World to supply recycled hygiene products to those in need.

brickrecyclingToday, in honor of Earth Day, we’re offering several fun activities designed especially for kids. Brick by brick, kids can help Master Model Builders create an Earth Day-themed LEGO mural as well as a large LEGO tree. Plus, several vendors will offer conservation tips and kids can take some of the fun home by picking up a free TECO activity book and colored pencils.

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LEGOLAND Florida Becomes First U.S. Theme Park to Run Completely on Renewable Energy on Earth Day!

LEGOLAND Florida is “going green!” To mark the beginning of a groundbreaking partnership with Tampa Electric, LEGOLAND Florida became the first theme park in the US to run completely on renewable solar energy in celebration of Earth Day.

Earth Day with TECO (3)

As part of the partnership, LEGOLAND Florida will also permanently power a section of the park, Imagination Zone, on renewable energy. The celebration was part of existing and new conservation initiatives, including installations that will educate park guests about solar energy. A 30-kilowatt solar panel array has been mounted atop the Imagination Zone attraction venue and is funded by Tampa Electric, The system supports Tampa Electric’s Renewable Energy program that lets the company’s customers purchase a portion of their electricity from renewable sources.

Earth Day with TECO (1)

“This is a historic day for LEGOLAND Florida,” said LEGOLAND Florida General Manager Adrian Jones. “With our new partnership with Tampa Electric, we will give guests a whole new way to learn about renewable energy while also doing something that no other theme park in the U.S. has done before.”

Earth Day with TECO (5)

A celebratory moment was held just prior to park opening Tuesday, with both Jones and Bruce Narzissenfeld, vice president of Marketing, Customer Service, Business Development and Fuel Operations for Tampa Electric, proclaiming the partnership and special green initiative. Even the confetti was eco-friendly! The initiative will result in environmental savings equal to removing three cars from the road for one year or planting six acres of trees!

Earth Day with TECO (2)

“This is a partnership built on doing the right thing for the environment,” said Narzissenfeld. “Together, we’ll teach the next generation about the benefits of investing in renewable fuels like the sun to produce electricity.

As part of the partnership, a new display will be placed inside the park starting in June, featuring an interactive 6-foot LEGO ® Earth model that educates guests on solar technologies. Located outside Imagination Zone, visitors will be able to affect the rate of LEGO Earth’s rotation with tactile solar panels. Guests will also enjoy an interactive zone that features LEGO mini model communities running on renewable energy inside the Imagination Zone.

Pre-Earth Day2

The new areas add to the multiple educational aspects already within LEGOLAND Florida. The park gives kids a chance to learn and play with STEM-based activities such as LEGO MINDSTORMS robots, Build & Test and Power Towers.

Pre-Earth Day3

LEGOLAND Florida has made a consistent effort for conservation since the park opened in 2011, including:

  • The park recycled nearly 60 tons of bottles and cans in 2013, along with 176 tons of cardboard
  • Throughout the park, guests can find over 180 recycled-made benches, with each made out of 800 recycled milk jugs
  • Each of the park’s 310 trash cans (consisting of both waste and recycle only at a 1-to-1 rate) are made out of 330 recycled milk jugs
  • LEGOLAND Florida has map recycling stations to avoid the waste of park maps that guests can acquire at the beginning sections of the park
  • The LEGOLAND Water Park holds 26 benches and 88 trashcans made entirely out of      recyclable materials

Pre-Earth Day1

About Tampa Electric:
Tampa Electric, one of Florida’s largest investor-owned electric utilities, is part of the TECO Energy family of companies. Tampa Electric serves almost 700,000 customers in West Central Florida.
TECO Energy Inc. (NYSE: TE) is an energy-related holding company with regulated electric and gas utility operations in Florida through Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas System. TECO Energy’s other major subsidiary, TECO Coal, owns and operates coal-production facilities in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.
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