Find out how innovative sustainable architecture and solar technology helped one Florida community weather a severe storm.
Many homes and towns in Florida were destroyed by Hurricane Ian. Babcock Ranch, 30 miles inland, sustained insignificant damage, unlike other areas along the west Florida coast. Although many families were displaced by the storm, the community quickly returned to normal.
Babcock Ranch claims it is the first town to be powered by solar energy. Its homes, utilities and infrastructure were built to withstand severe storms. This helped reduce the impact of Hurricane Ian. With so many environmentally-friendly features involved in solar energy, that’s no small feat.
What makes this place so special? We did some digging to find out more about the sustainable urban development.
You can find this page
What does Babcock Ranch do differently?
Babcock Ranch is different from other Florida towns because of a few things.
The town was first designed with sustainability in view. The buildings were constructed from storm-resistant materials. All residents can get enough electricity from off-grid solar panels. Its wastewater system ensures that even if it loses access or control of its water supply, it will not run out.
Solar Power: The Benefits
Solar power can be a great way for you to plan for natural disasters. It also saves money and makes your life more sustainable. Solar power has many benefits:
- There are fewer worries about power outages. Your solar panels can still produce energy even if they are not installed correctly.
- Solar panels can power batteries so that you don’t need to rely on the grid for electricity. This is particularly useful if your area is prone to power outages and other natural disasters, which could leave you without electricity for several days.
- Depending on how much sun you receive and how much energy your panels generate, the carbon footprint of solar panel usage is approximately 20 times lower than that of co-generated electricity. Solar power systems are popular because it offers lower monthly bills.
Could this be the Future?
Babcock Ranch is not the only one moving to solar power. Because solar power is good for the environment, many other communities are also making the switch. It can decrease greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 80 percent from sources such as coal-fired power stations.
You might not realize how much solar energy can be cheaper than you think. The U.S. Energy Information Administration, (EIA) states that electricity generated by rooftop solar panels is about five cents per Kilowatt hour in areas of average sunlight. This is less than the electricity you would pay from a utility company.
All these benefits beg the question: What about your community?
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