Thursday, 16 Apr, 2009 Environment

World's First Solar Powered City to Be Built in Florida


A company called Florida Power & Light looks forward to spend $350 million to construct a 75-megawatt photovoltaic solar plant that will be located in a new solar-powered city. According to the company, the project could start later this year. The city where the plant will be constructed was dubbed Babcock Ranch and it will be located near Fort Myers.

Currently to most powerful photovoltaic solar plant is located in Spain, where it was built in 2008 and where it can generate up to 60MW. However, it is expected that the Florida new power plant will be able to reach 75MB, which means that it might become the largest photovoltaic solar plant in the world.

It is worth mentioning that the photovoltaic cells transform sunlight into electricity. The company that works on the project hopes that its new city will become the first to produce energy from renewable solar energy.

"The FPL solar plant will be inside Babcock Ranch. Along with solar panels on the roofs of buildings citywide, it will be a revolutionary leap forward in clean energy for an urban area," said in his statement Syd Kitson, CEO of Kitson & Partners.

One of the biggest problems the company could face is convincing people to establish their business in an unestablighed city, albeit that community assures 20,000 permanent jobs.

On the home page of the official website of the Babcock Ranch , Kitson & Partners offers some of the features of the new city:

- There will be electric vehicles that one can plug in for recharge at one of many community-wide recharging stations;

- The streets will be illuminated by solar-powered street lamps;

- Groundbreaking Smart Grid technologies will analyze and control energy use in the city;

- Smart Home technology will allow residents to operate their homes at maximum efficiency, thus considerably reducing energy costs

"Babcock Ranch will be a living laboratory for companies, workers and families ready to reap the rewards of innovation," said Kitson in a statement.

Babcock Ranch will have 6 million sq. ft of retail, commercial, office, public, and light industrial space. It is expected that the whole project will cost about $2 billion. The city will include 19,500 homes, but the prices are still not provided. The company says that homes in the green city will be "affordable for workers and families across the economic spectrum".

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