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Home > Feature Articles > Alternative Energy Solutions > Solar Energy

Online Solar Payback Tools - In My Backyard & Open PV Mapping Project

Online Solar Payback Tools and Database Helps Communities and Homeowners plan PV solar and wind installation.

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Technical Assistance Project (TAP) for state and local officials provides two online Web tools supporting the solar power industry.

The map-based tools are published by the DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

  1. Homeowners and business owners can calculate the output of a PV system, including simple payback and impact on electricity bills, at any location in the United States.

    In My Backyard (IMBY)

    IMBY estimates how much electricity you can obtain from a small solar or wind installation located on your property or in your backyard. It is designed for use by homeowners and small business owners based on your location. IMBY will also estimate a simple payback for a small PV or wind installation, list incentives, and outline the general impact on monthly electric bills.

  2. A database of PV installations in the United States that allows you to explore what the market for PV looks like in a state, county, or specific zip code.

    Open PV Mapping Project

    This online tool allows users to explore trends in PV cost and installed capacity over time for the country or at a particular location, county, or state. The Open PV Mapping Project is open to inputs from participants who want to share data and improve the understanding of the PV market in the United States.

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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