March 16, 2018

Babcock Ranch takes solar energy to the next level with new technology

By: Vicki Parsons - IT

Reporter: Kristi Gross

Published: March 9, 2018 3:18 PM EDT

Updated: March 9, 2018 4:18 PM EDT

Babcock Ranch is taking solar energy to a new level, unveiling the first solar to battery storage system in the country.

“We’ll be able to improve the predictability and the reliability of solar energy to the grid,” said Babcock developer Syd Kitson.

The battery system is able to store and provide power directly to the grid that’s used by all of Southwest Florida in times of peak usage or on a cloudy day making it even more efficient.

Kitson added, “We hope that eventually what will happen is, that these batteries will discharge throughout the night, and then during the days, recharge.”

A newly built observation tower will give visitors a new look at solar energy and allow them to see first hand the 340,000 solar panels working to generate enough energy to power 15,000 homes.

The technology is also being installed at the Health and Wellness Center in Founders Square at Babcock.

Soon the gym will be filled with state of the art equipment that keeps in line with the city’s solar mission.

Healthy Life Centers Manager Justine Klein said, “When you’re working out on the treadmill, when you’re lifting weights, that energy that you’re producing has the ability to go back and power the actual facility – and producing even more energy to be stored.

The new health and wellness center along with the observation tower will all be open to the public.

You can take a tour Saturday, March 10, at the town’s official grand opening.