June 8, 2010
Babcock Ranch will become the newest addition to IBM's worldwide list of "smarter cities."
Babcock's developers Kitson & Partners announced Monday it will use IBM software to plan and design the sustainable city's entire technology system.
The development will use IBM's Rational Focal Point software to coordinate everything from engineering and construction to health and education, with all components interconnected. Kitson & Partners hopes the system will reduce investment risks and help manage the city's complexity, said Syd Kitson, company chairman and CEO.
"Having IBM on board really helps us," he said. "It's really amazing what they're capable of doing, just astonishing."
Babcock Ranch is a proposed development in rural East County scheduled to house 50,000 residents and 6 million square feet of office, retail and commercial space.
The entire city will be powered by a $350 million, 75 megawatt photovoltaic solar farm -- the largest in the world.
Kitson said the development is moving into its final stages of engineering and planning. But before Florida Power & Light can begin construction of the solar facility, the company will need state lawmakers to pass an allocations bill allowing utilities to fund commercial solar systems through rate increases.
"A solar bill is still essential," Kitson said. "From a timing perspective, I think everyone can see the value of renewable energy, with what's going on (in the Gulf) right now."
Kitson will be presenting his vision for the Babcock Ranch development before more than 4,000 people today at the IBM Innovate 2010 conference in Orlando.
He will also discuss how IBM's system will be used in the city.
"The opportunity presented by a city like Babcock Ranch is the opportunity of sustainable prosperity," IBM Rational General Manager Daniel Sabbah said in a statement. "Pervasive new technologies provide a much greater scope for the instrumentation, interconnection and intelligence of a city's core systems. This revolution is being driven by software innovation and the critical need for our cities of the future to address networks, infrastructures and environments, holistically."