Babcock Ranch – A Florida Safe Haven

Written by U.S.SolarEnergy

Overhead view of Babcock Ranch

When Hurricane Ian left 3 million Florida households without power and running water, one community barely flinched. Babcock Ranch spans 17,000 acres and currently has about 5,000 residents. Ultimately, the community will have more than 19,000 homes and 6,000,000 square feet of commercial space. The entire community – commercial and residential – is solar-powered. It is the largest solar + storage project operating in the United States.

State-of-the-art solar technology supplies the town and broader region with renewable, integrated power through a collaboration with Florida Power & Light. The town uses on-site solar generation facilities to generate more energy than it consumes. The nearly 700,000 solar panels are both on roofs and in a solar farms. The model works just as your home grid-tied solar + storage would. First, solar panels generate enough power to run your home. Then, once your house is running at capacity, the excess energy is stored in batteries. Once your batteries are filled, you sell the overage back to your local utility via net metering.

The 2022 hurricane season cemented Babcock Ranch’s model as the future of climate security. Over the course of one day, Category 4 Hurricane Ian dumped more than a foot of rain. Not a single resident of Babcock Ranch lost power. Not only did the lights stay on, but all the other systems that depend on electricity, such as water and the internet, survived. Babcock Ranch was the only town in Charlotte County that was not put under a boil-water alert. Many residents took in friends from other areas both before and after the storm. In the devastating aftermath, the school turned into an emergency shelter. Staff and students who lived outside BR had lost their homes.

More than 1,000 people move to Florida per day. For a good reason, more and more, they are looking to move to communities such as Babcock Ranch or individual homes that are already fitted with solar power. According to Zillow, homes with solar panels sell for approximately 4 percent higher than homes without solar energy.

Your home is your greatest investment. Installing solar panels on your Florida property allows you to enjoy all the benefits of living in the state while mitigating regional climate risks.