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10 Apr 2009: First Solar-Powered City in U.S.

Florida Power & Light and a real estate developer have announced that they will build the first solar-powered city in the U.S., a community of 19,500 homes, offices, retail shops, and light industry whose electricity will come from the world’s largest solar photovoltaic plant. The $300 million, 75-megawatt plant will provide enough electricity to power the proposed community — Babcock Ranch — and to export electricity to other parts of Florida, according to Florida Power & Light. The community, located near Ft. Myers, is being developed by a former National Football League player-turned-developer, Syd Kitson, who says half of the 91,000-acre town will remain undeveloped green space. Kitson said the community will be a model of sustainability that features a smart power grid, recharging stations for electric vehicles, and homes built with the latest in energy-efficient technologies. Construction on the power plant and development is scheduled to begin next year; utility company officials say their solar plant will be built regardless of the status of the planned city.

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