Quantcast

Get Solar Easier, Faster and Cheaper With Groundbreaking NYC Solar Map

Energy

Ever wonder whether solar power is right for your New York State home, business or non-profit institution? Or, how much money you could save on your electric bill and how much pollution-free electricity you could generate from your rooftop or from a solar canopy over your school's unsheltered parking lot? Solar installers: Do you have questions about local permitting and interconnection rules?

Photo credit: CUNY

Now, thanks to the whiz-bang New York Solar Map, launched Monday at New York Solar Summit, you need wonder no more.

The online map, funded by the New York Power Authority, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Gov. Cuomo's NY-Sun Initiative and the U.S. Department of Energy, combines amazing high-tech images from LIDAR and satellites with a bevy of online tools and resources to estimate the solar energy potential, cost savings available and incentives possible for every single building and piece of land in the Empire State. All of this, of course, in the interest of promoting pollution-free, climate-change-preventing power in our country's fourth-largest state. (And upping the ante for states around the U.S. Hey, other 49: Game on!)

The Solar Map does much more than those things, too:

  • It helps tenants and people with unsuitable roofs find offerings like community solar projects that can allow them to subscribe to or buy into offsite solar arrays.
  • Its “Solar Connect" feature enables users to locate and screen local solar businesses, request price quotes and even choose a solar installer online.
  • Its “In Your Area" offering links users with local programs, such as Solarize collective purchasing efforts that can reduce solar prices by as much as 20 percent and proffers local information tailored to customers, installers and municipalities.
  • Its “Solar Guides" offer interactive, step-by-step information for installers, on questions like how to file for solar permits in individual municipalities.
  • And, its soon-to-debut “Grid Ready" feature will help installers know about the interconnection-readiness of large New York City rooftops.

And all of this is just a start for this easy-to-use website. You can expect more bells and whistles in the months to come.

The New York Solar Map builds on the strengths of its predecessor, the groundbreaking New York City Solar Map, which offers many of the same features. Released in June 2011, it, too, used LIDAR and other tools to estimate buildings' solar power potential, calculate savings and costs, list any zoning and fire department restrictions and other information designed to streamline the installation of solar in the Big Apple. This version goes several steps further, though, not only covering the entire state but also offering resources on financing as well as primers on solar-related topics such as net metering, which offers fair credits to solar owners who export their excess electricity back to the grid.

People who work in web technology often promise their offerings can change the marketplace as they blow our minds. The New York Solar Map actually fulfills that promise. It can make getting solar easier, faster and cheaper, by increasing access to information, driving competition in the marketplace and linking consumers with installers, all with a few clicks of a mouse.

Samantha Wilt is an energy policy analyst for the Natural Resources Defense Council's energy and transportation program.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

World's First 24/7 Solar Power Plant Powers 75,000 Homes

Renewable Energy Has Arrived

Stockholm Divests From Coal, Oil and Gas

Interactive Map Shows Where Toxic Air Pollution From Oil and Gas Industry Is Threatening 12.4 Million Americans

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Tinnakorn Jorruang / iStock / Getty Images

By Dan Nosowitz

The budding research on cannabidiol, or CBD, attracts a great deal of interest in the agricultural field.

Read More Show Less
Oksana Khodakovskaia / iStock / Getty Images

By Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

The loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) is a tree native to China that's prized for its sweet, citrus-like fruit.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released new numbers that show vaping-related lung illnesses are continuing to grow across the country, as the number of fatalities has climbed to 33 and hospitalizations have reached 1,479 cases, according to a CDC update.

Read More Show Less
During the summer, the Arctic tundra is usually a thriving habitat for mammals such as the Arctic fox. Education Images / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Reports of extreme snowfall in the Arctic might seem encouraging, given that the region is rapidly warming due to human-driven climate change. According to a new study, however, the snow could actually pose a major threat to the normal reproductive cycles of Arctic wildlife.

Read More Show Less
Vegan rice and garbanzo beans meals. Ella Olsson / Pexels

By Alina Petre, MS, RD (CA)

One common concern about vegan diets is whether they provide your body with all the vitamins and minerals it needs.

Many claim that a whole-food, plant-based diet easily meets all the daily nutrient requirements.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A fracking well looms over a residential area of Liberty, Colorado on Aug. 19. WildEarth Guardians / Flickr

A new multiyear study found that people living or working within 2,000 feet, or nearly half a mile, of a hydraulic fracturing (fracking) drill site may be at a heightened risk of exposure to benzene and other toxic chemicals, according to research released Thursday by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)

Read More Show Less
Pope Francis flanked by representatives of the Amazon Rainforest's ethnic groups and catholic prelates march in procession during the opening of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region at The Vatican on Oct. 07 in Vatican City, Vatican. Alessandra Benedetti / Corbis News / Getty Images

By Vincent J. Miller

The Catholic Church "hears the cry" of the Amazon and its peoples. That's the message Pope Francis hopes to send at the Synod of the Amazon, a three-week meeting at the Vatican that ends Oct. 27.

Read More Show Less

The crowd appears to attack a protestor in a video shared on Twitter by ITV journalist Mahatir Pasha. VOA News / Youtube screenshot

Some London commuters had a violent reaction Thursday morning when Extinction Rebellion protestors attempted to disrupt train service during rush hour.

Read More Show Less