One of the issues with distributed energy, like solar panels, is that it’s hard to count because it’s – well, distributed. Even ISO-New England, the folks who run the six-state power grid and who have a great interest in knowing how many of these systems are affecting our electricity production, has to do a certain amount of estimation.
Now an interesting new source of estimation has shown up on the scene: Researchers say they developed software that scanned satellite photos of the entire U.S. and counting solar panels, from rooftop installations to massive solar farms. They claim there are 1.4 million separate solar installations in the country, a much higher figure than earlier estimates.
As New Hampshire? We have 652 installations of various sizes, covering an area of roughly 30,000 square meters.
Here’s the report. You can download the data table yourself and poke around – note that it’s divided up by Census tracts, as defined for the decennial census, so it’s hard to connect the numbers with places you actually know.