While Google’s holding company Alphabet dropped Google’s original motto of “Don’t Be Evil,” that doesn’t mean that Google has stopped doing good in this world and Project Sunroof’s expansion is another example.
Google to the solar industry’s rescue?
Google may make a lot of money on online advertising that caters to you through what may my many be viewed as invasive. Sure it has troubles with Europe nearly each week, but it also does a bit of good. Whether it is trying to connect the world to the Internet through balloons and Project Loon, giving you free search or simply providing me with a pretty good translator I can use when using Tinder in foreign languages, it’s not the worst company out there.
Google launched Project Sunroof in San Francisco, Fresno, CA and Boston last summer and grew the service to include an additional 16 metro areas in December.
The service is designed to help you determine whether going solar is good for you. With numerous states cutting programs that often subsidize the purchase of photo-voltaic panels, Google’s Sunroof quickly computes whether buying panels that cost thousands of dollars or leasing is the better option. On occasions, it will even tell you that going solar is just not the right thing to do.
How does it work?
Using the same eye-in-the sky technology and imagery that powers Google Earth, it can determine if you have too many trees whose shade would limit the panels effectiveness, look at local weather patterns, available subsidies, and industry pricing in order to determine if solar is the way to go.
Carl Elkin, the senior software engineer behind the service explained that the service will then direct you to local installers which saves them money in marketing costs.
“We at Google believe in solar energy. The solar industry needs our help,” he added in a statement.
Google’s solar investment tops $1 billion
Solar is nothing new to Google who invested $280 million in SolarCity Corp. in 2011. Recently the company added $300 million into a fund that finances residential solar projects installed by the same company.
Google’s campus also produces a fair bit of energy through the extensive use of solar panels.
While the service hardly covers the whole of the United States, Google is doing its best in areas where government incentives still exist and where the company has available satellite imagery.