The cost of adding solar panels to a Duluth home or business


old-central-solar-mapThe Duluth Shines! solar application launched this week, allowing Duluthians curious about the viability of including solar in their home or business energy mix to use an interactive map to find results for installation sizing and cost. UMD’s Geospatial Analysis Center is in the process of digitizing a few remaining neighborhoods in the city, and expects the application to cover all buildings in Duluth by February.

The project uses aerial photos of Duluth to map out individual building footprints and show measurements to provide recommendations for solar panel placement and sizing. It also shows cost estimates and offers information about available incentives, financing and installers.

Additionally, the map can serve as a platform for more detailed planning by the city of Duluth for infrastructure considerations, including local solar energy projects.

The project is a collaboration between the UMN Energy Transition Lab, the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, UMD Geospatial Analysis Center, the Great Plains Institute, and three Georgetown Energy Prize partners: Ecolibrium3, UMD and the city of Duluth. The imagery used to digitize buildings was shared in a partnership project with the city of Duluth and the state of Minnesota. Funding was provided by the Department of Energy and the University of Minnesota Extension through a Regional Sustainable Development Partnership grant.



about 6 years ago

This tool is great start for interested people to get a little more information about their potential sites.  Minnesota Power offers a generous incentive to folks who want to install their own solar as well.  There is a 30% federal tax credit as well which  when combined with other rebates can bring system costs down by half or more.


about 6 years ago

Cool tool - just not the results I hoped for - the payback period on my house is just 33 years!

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