March 15, 2018

Babcock Ranch holds grand opening

By: Vicki Parsons - IT

Posted: Mar 10, 2018 7:28 PM

By Joe Putrelo, Reporter

A Southwest Florida dream, more than a decade in the making, is a reality at last.

Babcock Ranch in Charlotte County, the only town in America that relies entirely on solar energy, celebrated its grand opening on Saturday. The idea came 12 years ago from owner Syd Kitson.

Kitson said more than 100 people already own homes in Babcock Ranch.

Yesterday, he and Florida Power and Light unveiled a solar facility that stores and produces enough solar energy to feed 15,000 homes.

“Babcock Ranch is the most sustainable, the most environmentally responsible, new town that’s ever been created,” Kitson said.

Babcock Ranch opened its own K-6 school in the fall. Now that 156 students have filled it to capacity, Kitson said the town is adding another school in August.

More than 10 businesses have also started up in the town.

There is still a lot of building yet to be done, but by the end of this year, Kitson said he expects 200 to 250 families to call Babcock Ranch home.