The Real Deal Miami

PB Gardens developer advances solar town project

Babcock Ranch in Lee County would be the world's first town powered mainly by the sun

February 13, 2016 12:30PM

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Sydney Kitson

Sydney Kitson

A Palm Beach Gardens developer plans a groundbreaking ceremony on Earth Day, April 22, for a 19,500-home community in southwest Florida with its own solar power plant.

Kitson & Partners in Palm Beach Gardens claims its planned Babcock Ranch community, located east of Fort Myers, would be the first town in the world powered primarily by the sun.

Florida Power & Light Company is building a 400-acre photovoltaic power plant on the grounds of Babcock Ranch, which is expected to grow to a population of 50,000 residents.

Kitson & Partners, led by developer Sydney Kitson, said site preparation work began in November and the level of activity at the Babcock Ranch construction site steadily will increase in the next several months.

Kitson & Partners bought a 91,000-acre ranch in Lee County from the Babcock family in 2006 and subsequently sold 73,000 acres to the state as a natural preserve, retaining 18,000 acres for the Babcock Ranch residential development, which was slowed by the housing market downturn in the late 2000s. [Florida Weekly] Mike Seemuth