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Webinar – PV Tools on the Web: In My Backyard and the Open PV Mapping Project

March 24, 2010

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy Technical Assistance Project for state and local officials, this Webinar discussed how to use the In My Backyard and the OpenPV Project tools for installing photovoltaic (PV) technologies.


About the Presenters

There were two presenters at the Webinar:

  • Christopher Helm is a geographic information system (GIS) developer within the Data Analysis and Visualization Group in NREL's Strategic Energy Analysis Center. He is the project lead for the IMBY and the Open PV Mapping Project. His expertise includes Web-based data visualization, geospatial mapping, and renewable energy data analysis.

  • Ted Quinby works as a GIS application developer at NREL, where his work focuses on the application of innovative mapping and visualization tools to promote the use of renewable energy technologies.

Background Materials

Here you can read about the two PV tools presented at the Webinar or link directly to them.

  • 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.

    In November 2009, NREL analysts used IMBY to estimate the amount of roof space available for PV arrays in various areas of New York and produce a report titled Interconnecting PV on New York City's Secondary Network Distribution System.

  • Open PV Mapping Project
    Also in November 2009, NREL launched an online database of PV installations in the United States. 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.

    Read more about the project in an NREL news article published January 6, 2010.