See the live app at: https://olyerickson.shinyapps.io/cohoespvapp/
About the Floating Solar Explorer App
The Floating Solar Explorer has been developed by the Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Applications (IDEA) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Instuitute in support of the proposed City of Cohoes, NY Municipal Floating Solar Demonstration Project. This initial collaboration is designed to visualize the energy-generation opportunities and potential economic impact of adopting floating solar on human-made water reservoirs.
The Floating Solar Explorer’s U.S. map charts the 24,419 NREL-identified water reservoirs potentially 'suitable' for floating solar, by ownership and potential electricity generation (per MWh).
The individual state map charts the NREL-identified water reservoirs potentially "suitable" for floating solar in the selected state, by ownership and potential electricity generation (per MWh).
A municipally owned and operated floating solar installation not only generates clean energy, it has the capacity to generate economic opportunity for the community as a result of electric bill savings. The City of Cohoes, a Low/Moderate Income (LMI) community with an Environmental Justice (EJ) designation, anticipates saving approximately $500,000 per year in electricity costs; money that can be reinvested back into the working class community.
The Floating Solar Explorer incorporates economic data to better illustrate where the state and national potential is for municipal floating solar installations in LMI communities like Cohoes.
Meeting the ambitious and essential clean energy goals that have been set at the Federal, State, and local levels will require all sectors at all levels to do their part. Cities are on the front lines of that effort, and must lead by example to create the necessary changes at the required pace. Municipally owned and operated floating solar installations may offer a new opportunity to generate success.
This early-stage Rensselaer IDEA project, developed by students and staff, is an example of the type of Floating Solar-related undergraduate student engagement and university-based research projects that can be sparked by and/or help advance this clean energy technology’s growth in the U.S.
Data Sources of the Floating Solar Explorer
Estimated photovoltaic production data provided by National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL); see: Floating photovoltaic systems: assessing the technical potential of photovoltaic systems on man-made water bodies in the continental United States. Regarding 'suitability,' the NREL study notes: the high-level data used and analyzed lacks the resolution for case-by-case feasibility, and the results should only be considered as a starting point for national and regional examinations.
Estimated reservoir area obtained from US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The NREL model and the underlying data may contain errors.
Income data on each State Map is obtained from the US Census. "Low income" is defined as up to 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI); "moderate income" is defined as greater than 50 percent AMI and up to 80 percent AMI.
Electric substation data on each State Map is obtained from the Homeland Infrastructure Foundation-Level Data (HIFLD).
Developed by the Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Applications (IDEA) in support of the proposed City of Cohoes, NY Municipal Floating Solar Demonstration Project
NREL: NREL Details Great Potential for Floating PV Systems; Technology Already in Widespread Use Overseas, Especially in Japan. News release (Dec. 27, 2018)
About The Rensselaer IDEA: https://idea.rpi.edu/
Building Floating Solar in Cohoes: https://www.ci.cohoes.ny.us/523/Building-Floating-Solar-in-Cohoes
For more information on the Cohoes, NY Municipal Floating Solar Demonstration project contact: Theresa Bourgeois, Director of Operations, City of Cohoes TBourgeois@ci.cohoes.ny.us or 518-903-0142 or Joseph Seman-Graves, City Planner, City of Cohoes JSeman-Graves@ci.cohoes.ny.us or 518-233-2130
GNU General Public License v3
The contents of this repository are released under GPLv3. Developers may modify and re-distribute in any way they wish, as long as they then distribute the modified version as free software.