Wednesday, Mayor Gavin Newsom announced the development of a first-of-its-kind solar mapping Web site. The Web site enables users to visualize the potential environmental benefits and monetary savings as a result of installing solar energy panels on their property.

The San Francisco Solar Map solution is a Web map portal that enables San Francisco city residents and business owners to enter their home or building address and see an aerial view of their individual structure. By clicking on the image of the structure, users are provided with the following information:

  • The estimated amount of solar energy paneling that could be installed on the structure's roof
  • The estimated amount of solar energy that could be generated based on the structure's location
  • Potential electricity cost reduction resulting from installation of solar energy panels
  • Potential carbon dioxide/greenhouse gas (CO2) reduction as a result of panel installation
  • Potential rebate amount from the State of California as a result of solar energy panel investment
  • Case studies of other San Franciscans who have already installed solar panels and their stories
  • Contact information for local solar panel system installers

Using Google Maps as a visualization platform, the San Francisco Solar Map solution enables users to view the results of an analysis of the solar potential for their home or commercial building. The resulting map is developed from detailed aerial photographs and other data. It bases its calculations on structure roof square-footage and considers factors such as a pitched roof and obstructions including tree shading and nearby tall buildings.

"San Francisco is committed to clean energy, and to making sure resources are available to make it easier for San Franciscans to go solar," said Mayor Gavin Newsom. "By using our solar mapping program, residents and businesses can quickly determine whether specific photovoltaic projects will pencil out, which is the first step to getting more renewable energy in the city."

The San Francisco Solar Map solution is available at no charge via the Internet. The solution is adaptable for use in other cities and counties throughout the world.