Find My Solar Suitability
The City of Minneapolis has developed the Find My Solar Suitability map application to help property owners in the City understand the potential for solar photovoltaic systems on their roof. The map contains estimates of a realistic maximum size and output of a solar PV system for individual structures. For a detailed analysis of your building's solar potential, contact a professional solar installer.
How Find My Solar Suitability was made
The Minnesota Geospatial Information Office produces Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) elevation data for all parts of the state. This highly detailed data was used to produce a detailed digital model of the elevation of Minneapolis - including trees, buildings, and topographic features.
Using this elevation model as an input, an ESRI ArcGIS tool called Solar Radiation Analysis calculated the total incoming solar radiation (insolation) for each square meter, accounting for variations in elevation, slope, orientation and shading from surrounding features, like trees. Flat rooftops, and rooftop areas with southeast- to southwest-facing slopes were considered appropriate for solar energy systems. Only portions of rooftops receiving a minimum amount of insolation year-round, and were large enough to accomodate at least 1,000 watts of solar panels were deemed appropriate.
The Find My Solar Suitability application was developed with assistance from ESRI and the University of Minnesota. All requests for data and other inquires should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't live in Minneapolis?
Then you should use the MN Solar Suitability App to find your solar resource. This statewide map of solar insolation and solar photovoltaic (PV) potential has 1 square meter resolution for the entire state of Minnesota. Just like the Minneapolis map, it was created using Lidar data and GIS technology. The Minnesota Solar Suitability App can be accessed with a computer or mobile device at http://maps.umn.edu/solar. More information can be found on the project website at http://solarp.uspatial.umn.edu. Other local governments and organizations who are interested in manipulating local solar suitability data can download layers by county from the MN Solar Suitability App. All requests for data and other inquiries should be directed to email@example.com.
Last updated Nov 6, 2014