Feb 13, 2018

Babcock Ranch: the US’ first solar town

Sophie Chapman
2 min
A town in Florida becomes America's first solar powered town
Syd Kitson, the former NFL player has developed the US’ first solar town, dubbed Babcock Ranch. The Green Bay Packers an...

Syd Kitson, the former NFL player has developed the US’ first solar town, dubbed Babcock Ranch.

The Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys player purchased a large mass of land 30 miles from Fort Myers in 2005.

The majority of the land was sold to local government for wildlife preservation, but the remaining 20% - approximately the same size as Manhattan, New York – has been utilised to create a self-sustaining community.

Syd Kitson has successfully created a town that runs off 300,000 solar panels in a 440-acre plot – it creates no emissions and generates more energy than it uses.


The town, which is expected to have a population of 50,000 people, features restaurants, stores, a school, and thousands of homes – all powered by renewable energy.

“We want to be the most sustainable new town in the United States,” Syd Kitson informed CBS News.

“We had the advantage of a green field, a blank sheet of paper. When you have a blank sheet of paper like this, you really can do it right from the beginning,” he added.

The town uses self-driving buses and bicycles as transportation, with the hopes of introducing autonomous cars in the future, and recycled water for irrigation.

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Apr 23, 2021

Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Drax is advancing biomass following Pinnacle acquisition it reported in a trading update

Drax' recently completed acquisition of Pinnacle more than doubles its sustainable biomass production capacity and significantly reduces its cost of production, it reported in a trading update.

The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.

The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).

Drax CEO Will Gardiner said its Q1 performance had been "robust", supported by the sale of Drax Generation Enterprise, which holds four CCGT power stations, to VPI Generation.

This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.

In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.

The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.

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