Google has just come out with a new service called Project Sunroof which is a calculator that helps home and building owners determine likely savings from installing solar panels. The calculator uses Google’s database of aerial imagery, maps, and related data.
Simply navigate to the website, enter your address, and if Google has data available for your specific location, you’ll get details on annual usable sunlight, total square feet available for solar panels based on 3-D modeling of your roof and nearby trees, and an estimate of net savings for your roof with a 20 year lease.
I have created a report for the Massachusetts Statehouse located at 24 Beacon St., Boston, MA. The Statehouse has 75,207 ft.² that can be used for solar panels, the site receives 1,556 hours of sunlight per year and total net savings for the roof over a 20 year lease would be about $5,700/year or $114,000 over a 20 year lease with $0 upfront costs and 240 monthly payments of $119. In the case of the Statehouse, the calculator recommends 1,639 ft.² of solar panels that would produce 23.26 kW.
Following is the overall estimate as it appears in the calculator:
The following video explains Google’s Project Sunroof: