The First Solar Powered Town in the US
In a unique partnership between Florida Power & Light and developer Kitson & Partners, Babcock Ranch’s solar plant will generate enough power to sustain the needs of the town’s projected population of 50,000 residents. Another first: Babcock Ranch will become the world’s first new town where solar-energy production will exceed residents’ energy consumption.
For sheer size, Babcock Ranch Solar Energy Center is a massive 440 acres.
FPL says the Babcock Ranch facility will enhance the utility’s standing as one of the cleanest in the nation while keeping customer bills about 30% below the national average. In fact, the facility will be built so cost-effectively that there will be no net cost to customers after savings from fuel and other generation-related expenses.
Building large-scale solar facilities such as the one at Babcock Ranch are the most economical way to build solar in Florida because these plants can produce 2.5 times more energy than private, residential-rooftop solar for the same dollar invested. Last year, FPL installed 1 million panels in three 74.5-megawatt solar energy centers including Babcock Ranch and it plans to build four more solar plants more this year.
FPL will phase out the use of oil and coal-burning plants as part of its long-range plan to reduce emissions and keep customer bills among the lowest in the nation. So far, the utility’s efforts have paid off because it has saved customers $8 billion in fuel costs and prevented 95 million tons of carbon emissions since 2001. You can read more about FPL’s solar strategy, here.
Solar is the energy source of the future because it’s sustainable and connects our environment to our culture, economy, and quality of life. Sustainable living means we can meet our current needs for resources without compromising the next generation’s needs at the expense of the environment.
This is why Babcock Ranch is working to develop clean transportation, for example. The developer of the new town is drawing plans to ferry people and goods on a network of electric vehicles drawing on the energy created by the solar plant. Residents will be able to hail these driverless vehicles using their smartphones.
Because of the emphasis on environmental stewardship and renewable energy, all the builders at Babcock Ranch will adhere to rigorous green-building standards that conserve energy produced by the plant. For example, homes will have raised foundations for natural cooling, high-performance windows and insulation, efficient heating and cooling equipment and energy saving lighting.
For more information on the solar fields at Babcock Ranch, click here or call us today at 1-877-484-4434.