Project Sunroof: Google uses maps and weather history to help owners calculate solar power consumption

August 19
11:00 PM 2015

Google launches Project Sunroof in San Francisco, Fresno and Massachusetts. The project uses high-resolution aerial mapping and local weather guide to identify the amount of sunlight that hits the roof and how much dollars homeowners will save for the whole year.

The company had invested $280M to fund SolarCity for the repair and installation.

"I talked to hundreds of people, and one thing that I really learned was that people overall don't always realize that they can save money by installing solar panels," Google project engineer Carl Elkin told the Business Insider.

"People think solar panels are beneficial to the environment, but they thought they were quite expensive."

So the company is informing the public living in Fresno, San Francisco, and Boston about the Project Sunroof, how it works and how they will save money from it. Just type the address in the website, and it will display data, analyzing how much renewable energy would be consumed in a year.

For those interested, Google will suggest solar providers in your location. The company guaranteed they will expand this service soon in other places, Fortune reported.

Because Google supports their employees, encouraging them to spend 20% of their time to work on their own inventions, Elkin started the project over a year ago.

By collaborating with the people behind Google's Geo and Maps, he identified that the data and computational tools collected by Google could help people assess their consumption fees. So the team combined map information, local weather history and rough calculation from the nearest solar providers to evaluate a particular homeowner area.

According to Googlers Blog, they teamed up with SolarCity to bring solar panels to consumers. The blog states that the team invested $280M for SolarCity to finance solar installations in the country. SolarCity will cover the system's installation and maintenance upon the lease.

Elkin believes people would not spend that much to afford renewable energy. In fact, it could be a lot cheaper than the grid power.

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