Over the last few years in New York, there has been a push to get as many people on renewable energy as possible. Last September, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City was looking to increase its goal of solar power capacity to 1,000 megawatts by the year 2030. According to the mayor’s office, that amount of solar power capacity can “meet the power needs of more than 250,000 households.”
As a part of that push, the City University of New York (CUNY) has teamed with New York City, New York State, and the Department of Energy to create the first statewide solar map and portal.
“It's the first statewide map and portal where everything is together. When we did the New York City map, at that time, it was the largest LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging)-based map. Now there's a lot more,” says Laurie Reilly, communications director with Sustainable CUNY.
Accessible at nysolarmap.com, the NY Solar Map measures a number of different things. Perhaps the most relevant to community organizations is the solar radiation map, which can estimate how much energy an individual building can generate.
“People can put in their own address, or their work address, and see what's going on in their borough in terms of solar capacity. Or if you're in another town or village outside of New York City, you can see what's going on in your area,” says Reilly.