Google is expanding the reach of an online service that aims to make it easier to judge the costs and benefits of installing solar panels on household rooftops.
The service expanded in December to analyze properties in the Raleigh area, as well as 15 other metro areas in Arizona, Nevada, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Colorado. Project Sunroof launched this summer in California and Massachusetts
The service combines the eye-in-the-sky images behind Google Earth with calculations on how much shade covers a rooftop, data on local weather patterns, industry pricing and available subsidies to arrive at its bottom line.
Google has invested more than $1 billion in recent years into solar energy, including $300 million earlier this year into a fund that finances residential rooftop installations.