Florida, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] Real estate developer Kitson & Partners announced a landmark agreement with Florida Power & Light (FPL) to build a 75-megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants at Babcock Ranch, Florida, effectively making it the world’s first city powered by solar energy. The Kitson-FPL deal will start the city on a path to create 20,000 permanent jobs.The 17,000-acre city of Babcock Ranch will also be home to an integrated smart grid that will provide greater efficiencies and allow residents and businesses to monitor and control their energy consumption. All commercial buildings and homes in the new city will be certified as energy-efficient and constructed according to Florida Green Building Council standards.
“I believe clean energy and sustainable development are the future of the American economy,” said Syd Kitson, chairman and CEO of Kitson & Partners. “Babcock Ranch will be a living laboratory for companies, workers and families ready to reap the rewards of innovation. No other place in America will be home to such a concentration of new jobs and technologies, energy-saving advances and global economic leadership. I could not be more enthusiastic to be a part of this major step toward economic recovery and a sustainable future.”
Subject to State of Florida approvals, groundbreaking on the FPL solar facility is targeted for late 2009, with construction of the city center targeted for mid-2010 and construction of the first residential and commercial buildings targeted for late 2010.
A recent study conducted by independent research firm Fishkind & Associates found that the city of Babcock Ranch will generate 20,000 permanent jobs across a wide range of industries and income levels, including education, retail, service industries, high technology, administration and manufacturing. Thousands of additional temporary jobs will be created in construction and related fields over the next 20 years.