The source of all information…. Google is mapping your solar needs.
Yep. And you know that they will not only tell you if you should go solar but be selling ad space to solar companies to sell to you. That is, as they say, how they make their money.
But, all in all, Google is a good source of information and they are building on what they have already know, i.e. mapping and satellite information, to create a map of rooftops and how much sun you receive each day. They will then compute the numbers to help identify those homes that should have solar panels installed.
Solar is one of the best ways to start the off grid process (as long as your government allows you to unhook from the utilities). And now Google is helping us crunch the numbers to review the cost of the investment versus the return in savings. And they are putting their dollars behind this study by funding over $2 billion (with a B) in renewable energy projects. Starting in a few cities, they are planning to cover the entire country. (Can you guess which 3 cities are being developed first and why? Watch the video below to find out.)
If you are at all interested in solar energy, you should check this out:
Dubbed Project Sunroof
, the recently released online tool enables you to type in your address and find out how much space you have for solar panels on your roof, how many hours of rooftop sunlight you’ll get a year, and how much money you’d save.
After typing in your address, a Google Earth image of your home and the surrounding neighborhood appears, with the roofs appearing in colors ranging from purple to yellow to indicate how much sunlight is striking the surface.
“As Google, we knew we had the expertise to do this well using Google maps and aerial imaging,” said Barry Fischer, a Google spokesperson. “Project Sunroof draws upon the same high-resolution imagery that powers Google Earth.”
City and state governments, the United States Department of Energy, and solar installers such as Sungevity have developed similar tools enabling curious homeowners to type in their address and determine how much solar power they can produce from a photovoltaic system.
But Google’s tool… appears to be unique as it uses machine learning to distinguish a rooftop from, say, adjacent trees or lawns.
Project Sunroof will also recommend the size of solar system that you should install based on your average electricity bill. And it calculates how much you’ll save depending on whether you opt to finance the solar array with a loa
n, by leasing, or by purchase. Then it presents the option to request a consultation with Google’s solar provider partners — SunWork, Vivint, SunEdison, SunPower, or NRG Solar.
Here is a video from Google about the project.