This 100% Solar-Powered Town in Florida Left Virtually Unscathed After Hurricane Ian

25 October 2022 | Lisa Hall

Hurricane Ian caused mass destruction to Southwest Florida, taking dozens of lives and leaving millions without power. But in the midst of devastation, a small solar-powered community was left virtually unscathed — despite being about 20 miles northeast of hard-hit Fort Myers.

“The meteorologist on the TV, clear as day he goes, ‘This is headed right for Babcock Ranch.’ And I remember thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re about to get tested,” said Syd Kitson, founder of Babcock Ranch.

Babcock Ranch is a solar-powered town with roughly 2,000 homes and more than 700,000 solar panels. Homes and businesses in Babcock are built to be energy efficient and weather resistant, many of them constructed with durable insulated panels meant to withstand Florida’s extreme weather. Many residents have additional solar panels and solar battery systems as an extra layer of protection from power outages.

If Hurricane Ian was a test of the town’s resiliency, Babcock Ranch passed with flying colors.

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