Energy Trust of Oregon tests free online tool that estimates solar energy potential
Mapdwell Solar System now available in select Washington County cities
Washington County, Ore. — September 10, 2014 — Curious about how much energy you could generate with a solar electric system on your roof? Home and business owners in select Washington County communities now have a free, high-tech way to find out.
Energy Trust of Oregon launched a test of Mapdwell Solar System, an online tool that estimates the solar potential of a rooftop based on advanced modeling and weather simulation data. The first communities to be able to use Mapdwell Solar System are Beaverton, Durham, Hillsboro, King City and Tigard.
The Mapdwell website, www.mapdwell.com/energytrust, is free and easy to use. Users can search for their address and see an estimate for how much energy a solar system can produce each year. Mapdwell Solar System also estimates potential utility bill savings, installation costs, Energy Trust cash incentives, state and federal tax credits and the time it takes to “break even” on the investment. The tool is highly interactive so users can explore different scenarios for system size and financing options.
Mapdwell Solar System uses high-resolution topographical data, called LiDAR, to create a three-dimensional model of all the buildings in a community. Site-specific weather data and shading from nearby structures and trees is then incorporated to precisely calculate and map the solar energy potential of every point on a rooftop for every hour of the year. LiDAR — Light Detection and Ranging — is a remote sensing method used to gather three-dimensional data about the surface of the Earth.
“One of the biggest barriers to installing solar is that owners don’t have a good way to estimate how much energy they could generate, or how much it would cost,” said Lizzie Rubado, senior solar project manager, Energy Trust. “Mapdwell Solar System makes it easier to explore the benefits and costs of installing a solar electric system and to get a proposal from a qualified installer. If this test of Mapdwell Solar System is effective at answering customers’ questions and increasing solar installations, Energy Trust could expand the service to other communities across the state.”
Once Mapdwell Solar System users learn about the solar potential at their property, they can request estimates from local contractors with one click. Participating Energy Trust solar trade ally contractors can provide free, no-obligation estimates. Energy Trust cash incentives and state and federal energy tax credits can help lower the cost of a solar system by up to 80 percent.
Energy Trust of Oregon is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping utility customers benefit from saving energy and generating renewable power. Our services, cash incentives and energy solutions have helped participating customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas save $1.7 billion on energy bills. Our work helps keep energy costs as low as possible, creates jobs and builds a sustainable energy future. Learn more at www.energytrust.org or call 1-866-368-7878.