Google took its Project Sunroof initiative — a tool to help homeowners discover if solar is right for their house — and is expanding it. This new data explorer tool will enable solar estimates for entire communities, in addition to individual homes, by leveraging 3D rooftop geometry from Google Earth to estimate the solar potential for millions of rooftops in America.
The tool helps communities, cities and municipalities easily visualize how many rooftops are suitable to install solar, how much power they could collectively generate, as well as how much carbon could be displaced by deploying rooftop solar at scale. Sunroof’s solar potential reports can also be easily shared among community members, researchers and policymakers directly from the the tool itself. Anyone can use this tool for free, by simply entering in a state, county, city, or zip code to receive a custom analysis.
Rooftop solar is a viable option for many cities today. Sunroof’s data explorer found that in more than 90% of communities that the tool covers within 42 states nationwide, well over half the rooftops are viable for solar.
“In previous analysis we’ve done, comparing Project Sunroof data estimates to actual systems performing in the field, we’ve found Google’s information to be a highly accurate source for predicting the solar performance of a rooftop system,” said Mark Trout, CIO, Vivint. “At Vivint Solar we are constantly focusing on how to better delight our customers and advance the solar industry through leading innovation. Project Sunroof is a prime example how how technology can improve the consumer experience and accelerate solar deployment here in the US.”
— Solar Builder magazine