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How Solar Works at Babcock RanchAugust 08, 2017
To understand how solar works at Babcock Ranch, first consider the solar field’s massive scale: 440 acres.
How big is that? Imagine 333 football fields of solar panels soaking up the sun’s energy.
In a partnership with Florida Power & Light, Babcock Ranch developer Kitson & Partners provides a massive 74.5 megawatts of energy. The 330,000 solar panels will power the 19,500 homes and 6 million square feet of commercial space when Babcock Ranch is built out.
The solar field is located north of the town of Babcock Ranch on land donated by Kitson and is owned and operated by Florida Power. The FPL Babcock Ranch Energy Center will produce so much energy that there will be extra left over to power other areas of Southwest Florida.
How Babcock Ranch Harnesses the Sun
Florida Power harnesses the energy from the sun on a large scale. Here’s how solar works at Babcock Ranch:
As sunlight hits the solar panels, the energy is converted into direct current (DC) electricity before flowing into power inverters where it’s converted to alternating current (AC). The electricity then travels through transformers and the voltage is boosted for delivery into the grid and distributed to FPL customers to power their homes and businesses.
The FPL Babcock Ranch Energy Center is the most cost-effective way to build solar power in Florida. That’s because large-scale solar plants such as this one can produce 2.5 times more energy for the money than residential rooftop solar.
The energy generated at the solar-energy plant flows to the substation located next to the water and wastewater facility and into the town of Babcock Ranch. Any energy that is left over after fulfilling the needs of the town flows into the FPL power grid to serve customers outside the town.
Electric power always flows from the nearest generation, so during the day the town will use energy from the FPL Babcock Ranch Solar Energy Center. When the sun goes down and the solar plant is not generating energy, Babcock Ranch will pull electricity off the grid from the closest FPL natural-gas power plant.
Other Solar Initiatives
In addition to the FPL Babcock Energy Center, the town has additional solar initiatives to capture energy from the sun.
For example, solar panels will be installed on the roofs of commercial buildings in downtown Babcock Ranch’s Founders Square. These are the first of several solar “micro-communities” that will expand solar-generating capacity as the town grows.
In addition, solar panels on poles called “solar trees” will be installed at Founder’s Square and other neighborhood parks. These solar trees are a focal point for solar-energy education and will allow people to charge their phones and other handheld devices.
Homeowners too will be able to install solar panels on their roofs. It’s a standard option offered by all the homebuilders at Babcock Ranch.
Learn more about the solar town by calling us at 877-484-4344.