What would happen if all the rooftops in New York City were fully outfitted with solar?
According to Minh Le, Director of the Solar Energy Technologies Office within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, an estimated 40 percent of the city’s electrical demand (at peak times) could be generated.
Check out the New York City Solar Map, a collaborative tool which gives an estimate of solar photovoltaic (PV) potential for the one million buildings in New York’s five city boroughs. Users can click on buildings and see where PV is installed. The map also displays real-time solar energy production citywide, and allows users to estimate the costs, incentives, and payback period for investing in solar.
Minh Le reports:
“The interactive map, hosted by The City University of New York (CUNY), is based on information from flights over the city by an airplane equipped with an aerial laser system. The device, known as Lidar for “light image detection and ranging,” gathered information on the shape, angle, size, and shade of rooftops along with the surface elevations of ground, buildings, and trees. Analysis of the data showed that the city has a solar potential of 5,800 megawatts peak output—more that 40 percent of the city’s electrical demand at peak times if all the rooftops were fully outfitted with solar. About two-thirds of the city’s structures are suitable to house solar panels.”
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