Twitter
Babcock Ranch Becomes First Solar-Powered Town In United States

Babcock Ranch is a new town in Florida that’s going to run 100 percent on solar power. At first glance, it’s not very different from your typical community. For example, it has restaurants, stores, a school, and thousands of households. The solar power, of course, is what makes it so unique. In fact, it's the first of its kind in the United States. Even cooler? It has the potential to power other cities surrounding it.

Developer Syd Kitson, who is a former NFL player for the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys, purchased the land that’s about 30 miles northeast of Fort Myers, Florida, back in 2005. It was a massive ranch that was mostly sold off to the state government to preserve wildlife. However, he saved 20 percent of the property to create his new town.

Back then, he already had a vision for Babcock Ranch to be self-sustaining city. There would be zero emissions from autonomous vehicles and there would be more energy generated than consumed. All of this would be accomplished by installing over 300,000 solar panels across 440 acres.

"We want to be the most sustainable new town in the United States," Kitson told CBS News. "We had the advantage of a green field, a blank sheet of paper. When you have a blank sheet of paper like this, you really can do it right from the beginning."

Babcock Ranch is equivalent to the size of Manhattan in New York City. Transportation throughout the town is mostly through the self-driving buses or utilizing shared bicycles that can be used on around 50 miles of trails. Recycled water through rain gardens, which naturally filters the liquid, will be used in the town’s irrigation system.

There’s no avoiding vehicles initially, but Kitson hopes that the town will fully run on self-driving vehicles in the future. He told Yale Climate Connections that in the coming years he hopes autonomous cars can be used on demand. Then they’ll “be able to turn parking areas into parks and really change the way that people go from point to point.”

Richard and Robin Kinley were the first residents to move into the new town in January and had one of the lakes named after them. Richard told CBS News that he believes communities like this are the future, and investing in a home was similar to buying a Tesla five years ago.

50,000 residents are expected to populate Babcock Ranch, and there will be more than enough solar generation to satisfy their needs. They anticipate to power other places surrounding them, but a current problem is not having enough storage space for energy. It’s still too costly to rely only on battery backup, so they will still get power from the national grid during night hours or when there’s too much overcast.

Food100% Biodegradable Tea Bags Are Coming To The U.K.

With the amount of tea that's consumed in the United Kingdom, over 330,000 pounds of plastic waste is created annually. To fix that problem, the Co-op will be experimenting with heat-sealed tea bags for their own tea brands.

4 days ago
RenewablesIKEA Buys Huge Forest In Alabama For Ethically Sourced Timber

IKEA recently purchased a forest in the U.S. The land spans across 25,0000 acres in Lowndes County, Alabama. This is IKEA's third sustainable forest purchase, intended to boost their efforts to produce environmentally responsible products.

4 days ago
NewsRyanair Commits To Going Plastic-Free On All Flights By 2023

The Irish airline is removing non-recyclable plastics over the next five years on all of their flights.

1 week ago
NewsHarley-Davidson Is Officially Releasing Their Electric Motorcycle In 2019

American manufacturer, Harley-Davidson is looking to shift gears into the world of electric vehicles. While the brand has become famous over the last century for its loud motorcycles, the Milwaukee-based company plans to add an electric motorcycle to its line within 18 months.  

1 week ago
Stay Green
Sign up for our daily newsletter
Quantcast