New York City LiDAR-derived Solar Potential

In a recent New York Times article LiDAR was highlighted as the technology used to help develop a detailed map of the solar potential of more than 1 million buildings in New York City. Based on a total build out, it was estimated that solar roof panels could meet almost 50% percent of the current estimated daytime peak demand – impressive.

The project was carried out by the City University of New York in conjunction with the city and the federal Department of Energy. As part of the project a website was created where a resident can type in the address of a building where they live or work and find out how much solar power the roof can yield and at what cost.

Thanks to Bill Gutelius at Active Imaging Systems for the link.

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5 Responses to New York City LiDAR-derived Solar Potential

  1. The LiDAR was collected in May 2010 by Sanborn and consisted of over 15 billion points!

  2. Chris Crosby says:

    Are those NYC data publicly available? Online?

    Geostellar is developing similar solar potential maps using lidar (among other datasets) – their “goal is to map the solar potential of every single rooftop in the U.S. by April 2012”:

    Geostellar have been through our site looking for data – this application is a great example of why there needs to be better online access to public domain lidar.

  3. Blom UK has recently completed a LiDAR derived solar potential map of Bristol in the UK. The results will be available online from early July when Bristol City Council launch their new public facing website. Bristol were the first UK city to commission a solar potential study, but it is hoped that others will follow suit in the near future. An article about the project can be found here:

  4. When a small German 3D & solar company called geoplex inquired about LAStools I learned that they create maps for cities and counties in Germany that inform house owners about the solar potential of their roofs. Here a link to the county of Bernkastel-Wittlich. Zoom in and you see the classified roofs. Very well done!

    Martin @lastools

  5. Kevin Bell says:

    Salt Lake City Utah did this 3 years ago!

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