Google expands Project Sunroof

January 07, 2016 by Jeff Shepard

Project Sunroof puts Google's expansive data in mapping and computing resources to use, helping calculate the best solar plan for you. The service has been expanded to analyze properties in the Raleigh area, as well as 15 other metro areas in Arizona, Nevada, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Colorado.

When you enter your address, Project Sunroof looks up your home in Google Maps and combines that information with other databases to create your personalized roof analysis. Project Sunroof doesn't give the address to anybody else unless you ask it to. Project Sunroof computes how much sunlight hits your roof in a year. It takes into account: Google's database of aerial imagery and maps; 3D modeling of your roof; Shadows cast by nearby structures and trees; All possible sun positions over the course of a year; and Historical cloud and temperature patterns that might affect solar energy production.

Project Sunroof recommends an installation size to generate close to 100% of your electricity use, based on roof size, the amount of sun hitting the roof, and your electricity bill. Solar panel installations come in sizes measured in kilowatts (kW). When discussing solar installation with your providers, the recommended installation size (in kW) is a good starting point for a more fine-tuned estimate of total costs and benefits.

Project Sunroof recommends an installation that covers less than 100% of your electrical usage because, in most areas, there is little financial benefit to producing more power than you can consume. Project Sunroof uses current solar industry pricing data to run the numbers on leasing, taking a loan, or buying solar panels for your house to help you choose what's best for you.

Project Sunroof also compiles the following incentives to calculate your final cost: Federal and state tax credits; Utility rebates; and Renewable energy credits and net metering. If you'd like to know more or to get started on going solar, Project Sunroof can put you in touch with solar providers who serve your area. Project Sunroof will only send information you provide to solar providers that you selected.