Google (not Alphabet) has just unveiled what it’s calling a “treasure map of solar energy.”
If you’ve ever thought about installing solar panels on your house, the first thing comes to mind is probably that would be quite the hassle. And one of the major concerns you may have is whether or not your roof even gets enough sunlight to warrant the undertaking.
To help, Google is launching Project Sunroof, a Google Maps-powered tool for helping people figure out how solar would work on their homes.
“As the price of installing solar has gotten less expensive, more homeowners are turning to it as a possible option for decreasing their energy bill. We want to make installing solar panels easy and understandable for anyone,” says Google. “Project Sunroof puts Google’s expansive data in mapping and computing resources to use, helping calculate the best solar plan for you.”
“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 will then give you a cost estimate and links you to local solar providers.
Right now it’s only available in Boston, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Fresno. But Google has big plans, saying it wants to launch it around the world.