A Florida utility and a real estate developer are aiming to bring the country’s first solar-powered city to the Sunshine State.
FPL Group Inc’s utility Florida Power & Light is working with the realty group Kitson & Partners to construct what the utility says will be the world’s largest photovoltaic solar plant in a planned, environmentally friendly city near Fort Myers in southwestern Florida.Called Babcock Ranch, the city will aim to build 19,500 houses and about 6 million square feet of retail, light industrial, and office space when it is completed, the developers said.The entire project is expected to cost $2 billion.Syd Kitson, chief executive of Kitson & Partners, said Babcock, which will help create 20,000 jobs, can serve as a model for other communities throughout the nation.”Babcock Ranch will be a living laboratory for companies, workers and families ready to reap the rewards of innovation,” Kitson said at a press conference introducing the project.
A spokesman for the project said it will be the first solar-powered city because it will use only solar power during the day and produce more solar power than it needs and so will be a net exporter of solar power.In addition to having its electricity generated from solar energy, the entire city is expected to have wireless Internet access and electric-car chargers.Construction of the city center is scheduled to begin in June 2010, with the first residential and commercial buildings targeted for late 2010.
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