A solar "tree" at Babcock Ranch doubles as a charging station and public art.

A solar "tree" at Babcock Ranch doubles as a charging station and public art.

“Powered by the Sun” is not just Babcock Ranch’s slogan, it’s the foundation upon which the new master-planned community is being built.

Early on, developer Kitson & Partners donated 800 acres at the town’s northern end to Florida Power & Light, which built its Babcock Ranch Solar Energy Center there. Its 650,000 solar panels generate 149 megawatts of solar capacity, enough to power Babcock Ranch and surrounding areas. FPL added a state-of-the-art battery storage facility—the largest one operating in the U.S.—in 2018.

Babcock Ranch's solar energy center

Babcock Ranch's solar energy center

“To be sustainable you have to have the right energy source,” Kitson told the Babcock Ranch Telegraph newspaper this summer. “We’re the only solar-powered town in America, and we’re really, really proud of that.”

Wi-Fi is available throughout Founder’s Square, and you can charge your devices in three solar “trees” that double as public art. Founder’s Square is also where you can rent a solar-powered golf cart to tool around the community.

Every home and commercial building must adhere to Florida Green Building Coalition standards that measure green building techniques and products, ensuring “a high-performing home that is energy and water efficient, has good indoor air quality, utilizes environmentally sustainable materials, and uses the building site in a sustainable manner,” according to the FGBC.

Every home has a full gigabyte of fiber-optic connectivity built into it, so that residents have lightning-quick access to the internet for online work, school and play. 

And an app under development called Keylink will allow residents to rent any of the amenities, make a maintenance request, or eventually summon one of the autonomous vehicles that will begin running in the future. 

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