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Green Imagineering

Perception trumps reality at Florida ‘solar city.’

Fortnightly Magazine - May 2009

price of any other power plants (including PV) the PSC has approved in the past 10 years—a virtual certainty given the downward price curve for solar technology.

More broadly, if the Kitson development turns out badly—as “cities of the future” have been known to do—then FPL ratepayers reasonably might view this 75-MW array as an orphaned white elephant.

In practical terms, it will cost ratepayers virtually the same amount of money whether Babcock Ranch goes forward or not. But that makes little difference in terms of public perception. If Babcock Ranch is anything but a perfect success, then Floridians will view the PV project as an expensive failure, even if it operates perfectly.

As sci-fi novelist L.E. Modesitt, Jr. told Fortnightly in one of this month’s People in Power interviews (see “ Green Progression ”), “There always will be a backlash if things don’t work.”