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Babcock Ranch Becomes First Solar-Powered Town In United States

By Brian Spaen

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.