With an extensive slate of mapping data and computing resources at its disposal, internet giant Google is ready to dive into the world of rooftop PV.
Google’s new feature, tabbed as “Project Sunroof,” will assist potential customers interested in installing rooftop solar installations by charting rooftops for potential costs, savings and project size.
Google has partnered with solar energy system provider Vivint Solar for the project, as Vivint will assist potential customers in developing and installing rooftop PV systems.
Greg Butterfield, CEO of Vivint Solar, "Vivint Solar teaming up with Google is giving homeowners across the country immediate insight, information and access to rooftop solar power—that's good for everyone.
Residents in Boston, Fresno, California and the San Francisco Bay Area can participate in the project by simply entering their address into the program’s home page. Google then analyses the building’s rooftop, eventually computing how much sunlight hits the roof over the span of a year.
With this analysis in hand, Project Sunroof will then list its recommended installation size for a potential PV system on the roof — emphasising an array that will provide enough energy to cover close to 100% of the building’s electricity costs.
Project Sunroof will also offer various pricing scales to help users weight the various financial options that come with installing a PV array, including leasing, using a loan or simply buying the solar panels themselves.
If the customer goes ahead with the installation process, Project Sunroof them connects the user with solar providers in the same vicinity to pursue the next step. SunEdison, NRG and SunPower stand as additional groups that Google lists as solar developers for customers to utilise.
Earlier this year, SunEdison announced expansions into the rooftop PV market, offering residential power purchase agreements (PPA) in various regions across the US.
In wake of such news, analysts at RBC Capital Markets told PV-Tech that SunEdison’s new ventures served “as a validation of the rapid growth in the US residential solar market.”