Wednesday, April 27, 2016

New All Solar Town Coming to SW Florida

Plans were announced this week to build a new town in Southwest Florida powered completely by solar energy.

Babcock Ranch is east of I-75 between Punta Gorda and Ft. Myers, and is similar to Lakewood Ranch in Manatee County in size.  Babcock Ranch is expected to consist of 20,000 homes priced from $250,000-$900,000.  Following Lakewood Ranch's lead, Babcock Ranch will have a higher density downtown core of commercial buildings surrounded by residential development.  With this number of homes, Babcock Ranch will be larger than the current population within the city limits of Venice.

Babcock Ranch planned new town
Proposed Babcock Ranch master plan

Energy supplied to Babcock Ranch will come from a 75 megawatt solar plant nearby operated by FPL.  Residents shouldn't expect to be "off the grid" in Babcock Ranch, since power will be supplied through FPL's main power grid during peak energy use and night time.  Electric rates will be the same as the rest of FPL's residential customers.

Will it be successful? Lakewood Ranch has been, despite my opinions about it's continued growth and sprawl and traffic.  I suspect there will be enough buyers attracted to the clean energy aspect of Babcock Ranch that commercial and residential real estate will sell well.

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