Calgary

Putting up solar panels? City of Calgary website pinpoints properties with best sun exposure

If you've ever wondered if your house or office might be suitable for generating solar power, the city has some of the information you'll need.

Map offers a starting point for people curious about viability of solar energy

The city's solar potential map includes all buildings within city limits. Bright yellow properties are estimated to have a high power yield, while dark orange ones will have the lowest. (City of Calgary )

If you've ever wondered if your house or office might be suitable for generating solar power, the city has some information you'll be interested in.

The city has put what it calls a "solar potential map" on its website showing the potential yield for solar power for every building in Calgary.

Bruce Cullen, the city's director of corporate analytics and innovation, says the information is gathered using laser radar.

"As part of the work that we do in our energy management office looking at opportunities for city facilities, we had the data city-wide and decided to take that algorithm, run it city-wide and put it out to the public in case they were interested themselves," he said.

Cullen says anyone considering installing solar panels should check with their utility company or with private companies that can provide more information.

"The map shows varying degrees of a roof's solar exposure, on an annual basis, in generalized optimal conditions," the website says.

"The data model used to generate the map takes into account the shape of the terrain and the relative position of building rooftops and structures, existing infrastructure, and tree canopies."

The map does not reflect any buildings that went up after 2012 that could obstruct another building's solar exposure.

The city has already installed solar panels on several of its buildings, and provides details about them on its website.

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