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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Florida’s Babcock Ranch to Unveil New Interactive Education Center Focused on Solar Energy

By Shelby Tuttle

Babcock Ranch, the pioneering solar-powered town in Florida, has joined forces with Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) to unveil a new jewel in its community’s crown – the Solar Ranch – an FPL Eco-Discovery Center. 

Stepping into the 2,500-square-foot Solar Ranch is like entering a wonderland of clean energy exploration. Designed for visitors of all ages, the center boasts engaging exhibits that bring the science and benefits of solar power to life. Through interactive displays and even augmented reality experiences, visitors gain a deeper understanding of how sunlight is harnessed to generate clean, renewable electricity.

But the learning doesn’t stop there. The Solar Ranch delves into the world of battery storage, showcasing how this technology extends the reach of solar power even when the sun isn’t shining. Are you curious about electric vehicles? The center has you covered! Take a virtual spin and test your driving skills in an EV simulator game in addition to exploring the advantages of EVs.

Don’t miss the three-story observation tower, which offers a stunning panoramic view of the two colossal FPL solar energy centers. These powerhouses, boasting nearly 687,000 solar panels, generate clean energy that sustains the Babcock Ranch community and extends to the wider FPL network. The commitment to environmental responsibility also goes beyond solar energy at the Solar Ranch. Interactive exhibits highlight the fascinating native plants and animals that call the Babcock Ranch area home. 

“Sustainability is the cornerstone of Babcock Ranch,” “The Solar Ranch exemplifies our mission – to demonstrate that environmental stewardship and development can coexist and thrive together.”  “Sustainability is at the heart of Babcock Ranch,” said Syd Kitson, Chairman and CEO of Kitson & Partners and Founder of Babcock Ranch. “This new Solar Ranch exemplifies our town’s mission to demonstrate hat environmental stewardship and development can work hand in hand.”

Today, Babcock Ranch is one of the few places in Florida where youcan see FPL solar energy centers, solar trees, electric vehicle charging stations and battery storage in one place. FP collaborates with Babcock Ranch to develop educational programs and materials that promote awareness and understanding of solar energy among the public, such as through the installation of community solar trees in Babcock Ranch’s downtown. 

An engaging and educational experience for the whole family, The Solar Ranch is expected to open this month and is located at 8500 State Road 31, Punta Gorda, FL, conveniently situated near Babcock Ranch. Admission will be free, and the center will be open Wednesday through Saturday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, with Sundays open from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM.


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