BABCOCK RANCH, Fla.- Plans to transform Babcock Ranch, located along State Road 31 in Charlotte County, into the world’s first solar-powered town are in the works.
The vision is to create nearly 20,000 homes and 6 million square feet of commercial space that will be powered purely by the sun.
“To be here today and be able to look at you in the eye and say ‘you know what, we’re starting,'” said Syd Kitson, CEO of Kitson & Partners. “What we’re trying to do here at Babcock Ranch is create a truly sustainable new town.”
Kitson & Partners and FPL are working together to create the environmentally-friendly community.
“So during the day, when you turn on a light switch here at Babcock Ranch, it will be solar powered,” said Kitson.
“At night, they will still have some of the cleanest electricity in the United States thanks to our modern, fuel-efficient, natural gas plan,” said Alys Daly with FPL.
A general store, hiking trails, lakes for fishing, a restaurant and even a high school are also included in the development plans.
“Everything is open to everybody. Anybody who wants to be apart of it can enjoy, it’s a new town, it’s not a gated community,” Kitson said. “So if you want to go out and walk into the woods or have a great hike, either a mile, two minutes, 10 miles, you can do that.”
The plans to transform the old piece of land began 10 years ago, but they battled economic setbacks and delays. Now, developers say the city center will begin construction in May.
“I think Babcock and FPL both share this vision for an initiative Florida and that’s what is making this work so well,” Daly said.
Babcock Ranch will be home to about 50,000 people, developers said. The public can expect houses to start popping up in 2017, but the overall completion date for the town is in 20 years.