There is an impressive blueprint in the works for a 19,500-home city in Florida that has been projected to be the first city on earth powered by zero-emission solar energy. The city, Babock Ranch, is being developed by Kitson & Partners, a private residential and commercial real estate investment and development company, on 17,000 acres (350 of which will be occupied by solar panels) northeast of Fort Myers.
While researchers are working toward storage capabilities, presently, solar electricity is only available during daytime hours, meaning that the city will rely on conventional power sources during the evening. However, the current concept is that Florida Power & Light’s 75-megawatt solar generator will produce more power for the state’s electric grid during sun-up than the city will consume in a 24 hour period, effectively canceling out night-time use.
It is estimated by FP&L that the solar facility will cost approximately $300 million and add about $.31 to the average customer’s monthly bill.