FORT MYERS, Fla., April 11 (UPI) -- A Florida developer says he wants to build a 19,500-home city powered entirely by solar energy.
Babcock Ranch will be developed by Kitson & Partners on 17,000 acres northeast of Fort Myers, Fla. The developer said it will be the "first city on Earth powered by zero-emission solar energy," The Miami Herald reported Saturday.
The city will include the world's largest photovoltaic power plant, to be operated by Florida Power & Light. The facility will cost about $300 million.
"We're out to prove that it works economically," developer Syd Kitson was quoted as saying. "And it's the right thing to do for the long-term solutions in this country."
The newspaper said researchers are working to develop storage capability for sunlight-generated power since solar electricity is available only during daytime hours.
Solar panels to power the city will sit on 350 acres within the development. The newspaper said more than half of the city's 17,000 acres will be permanently protected as greenways and open space, and will adjoin the 73,000-acre Babcock Ranch Preserve, which has been purchased by the state.