Which city will be the most solar friendly city in the U.S.? The community of Babcock Ranch in Punta Gorda, FL, is vying for that title. The city hopes to be “The World’s Most Sustainable City.” It’s a significant feat in a state recently rated one of the least solar friendly states in the country by the Center of Biologic Diversity.
The developer of the project, Kitson & Partners is led by former NFL player Syd Kitson, who played for the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys. He’s hoping to block any opposition to the project in Florida, which will provide enough solar energy for each home and building in the community as well as solar power to the region via its 74.5 megawatt solar energy center. As such the company has partnered with Florida Light & Power and the state to build the project.
The project broke ground in October 2015 and celebrated its Grand Reveal on Earth Day 2016 (April 22). The first phase of the project, which will include 1,100 residences should be complete by fall 2017. It also will include a wellness center, a market café, lakeside restaurant, educational facilities and an outdoor outfitters.
“Less than a year from today, the first residents will be settling into a whole new way of life—one that is conscientious, engaging and connected,” Kitson said. “We are fortunate to have incredible partners who have worked with us from the ground up to build a town that will meet the diverse needs of families, employers, neighbors, businesses, surrounding communities and the natural environment for generations to come,” he added.
Ultimately Babcock Ranch will include 19,500 residences and will house about 50,000 people. Residences, will include condo and homes, with prices starting at $200,000 and ranging up to $900,000, according to the developers. The range of prices and housing options show that almost all can enjoy to opportunity of living in a solar-powered, sustainable community.
Still solar power is much more advanced in other parts of the country. For instance, entire cities in California like Santa Monica and San Francisco have established mandates requiring new buildings to install solar rooftops. But projects like Babcock Ranch show the potential of solar power even where it’s not required by state or local governments.Tweet