Solar Photomaps Reveal Free Electricity

3D aerial mapping technology is spotting roofs in SE England, ripe for solar panels

A mapping applications is revealing the potential for “free” energy – by spotting sites for solar panels on commercial properties in the South of England,

Using high-resolution stereo aerial photography and 3D data, mapping specialist Bluesky has produced a map of commercial properties in Hampshire, Dorset and West-Sussex that would be suitable hosts for solar panels.

Selling solar panels

The idea of mapping for green applications has been promoted by companies including Microsoft. Bluesky produced this map for Tidebank Energy, which will approach companies, offering to install, manage and maintain solar arrays at no cost to the property owners.

Bluesky’s solar maps also use photogrammetric techniques to measure and record factors such as skylights, chimneys or dormer windows in order to eliminate

Properties can then be graded on solar potential before Tidebank makes its offer.

Free energy

Property owners can use as much of the energy generated as they need and the remainder is fed back into the national grid.

Under the Government’s Clean Energy Cash Back scheme Tidebank is paid for all energy fed to the grid.

Said Kevin Jones, Partner of Tidebank Energy LLP: “The maps were easy to use and have helped us locate a huge number of previously unknown properties with real potential. The Bluesky maps also help us pre-qualify our approach to prospective clients.”

Bluesky aerial photographed Glastonbury festival this year and also recently rolled out nationwide coverage of its solar maps.

Targeted at local authorities, 3D solar reports for individual complexes, such as hospitals, schools, or large commercial property to define the best properties for solar energy generation.

The solar maps and databases are open format allowing incorporation into most software, from Microsoft Excel and Access to more advanced GIS, and SQL.They can also be used within Google Earth and through web interfaces.

Bluesky can also provide measurements for other environmental energy projects such as wind turbines, micro hydro and heat pumps