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Project Sunroof

--Rob's guest blogger, Todd Campbell, is a registered architect at CMBA|smith metzger.  He has worked on the downtown YMCA and Josephs West Glen.

Google Docs, Google Maps, Google Earth, Google Drive… it seems every time I turn around Google is releasing a wonderful new toy for me to play with. This time it’s called Project Sunroof, an online app that combines aerial 3D models from Google Maps with historical weather data, regional utility costs and any local solar incentives. All you have to do is plug in your address and information regarding your typical energy usage.

From this, the program computes how much sunlight hits your roof annually, recommending a solar installation size (in square feet & kilowatts) necessary to generate close to 100 percent of your electricity usage. It also provides information on purchasing or leasing panels, projected payback, and contact information for local installers. It gives you all the information necessary to make an informed decision.

As exciting as all of this sounds, we may have to wait a while. Project Sunroof is still in its infancy and has only been launched in Boston, San Francisco and Fresno to date. Having said that, Google plans to eventually expand nationally - even globally; depending upon the project’s success in these initial launch areas.

I for one, look forward to playing around with this program someday and seeing if solar is a viable option for my home.  How about you? Let me know at tcampbell@smithmetzger.com.



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