Google has now expanded its two-year-old Project Sunroof, which maps houses with sufficient sun exposure for solar panels to all 50 states. Originally covering only the San Francisco Bay Area, Fresno, and Boston, the map had limited appeal. But now a total of 60 million buildings have been added to the project’s database. Project Sunroof uses imagery from Google Earth and Maps to assess how much sunlight each portion of each roof gets. Weather patterns, sun position changes, and possible shade from nearby buildings is taken into account, according to Google.
The maps let home owners see whether they should consider a solar roof, but it also offers a good insight of the country’s solar energy potential. Google estimates that roughly 80% of all rooftops that were analyzed are “technically viable” for solar. Houston takes the top spot for most solar potential in the United States with an estimated 18,940 GWh of rooftop solar generation potential per year.
Check out the interactive map, searchable by U.S. zip codes, cities, counties and states, here.