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Google Thinks Twin Falls Needs Way More Solar Roofs

Andreas Rentz, Getty Images
Andreas Rentz, Getty Images

Google has a brand new project called ‘Project Sunroof’. What is ‘Project Sunroof’? It’s an effort to encourage communities to harness solar energy. According to them, Twin Falls has a lot of available roofs that this could work for.

There are a lot of factors that make Twin Falls a great place for solar power. First, we have a very high percentage of sunny days in the Magic Valley. Plus, as you can see on this Google Map, there’s very little in our area that would be considered shady. (Note: The yellow parts of the map show homes that could use solar power.)

Project Sunroof, Google Maps
Project Sunroof, Google Maps

According to Project Sunroof, 83% of the roofs in Twin Falls could be used for solar power. The average roof in Twin Falls could generate over 13,000 kilowatt hours of energy per year.

Let’s go along with this and pretend that everyone in Twin Falls installed solar roofs on their homes. What would this mean? Project Sunroof projects this would remove almost 95,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It would be the equivalent of removing over 20,000 cars from the roads for a year.

I don’t want to rain on the big solar panel party, but the cost of adding these to a home is not small. I checked the Solar Power Authority website and learned that for a typical home, the cost would be over $10,000 and that’s after tax breaks.

Project Sunroof is interesting and could make a big difference in the future for Twin Falls. But, to me, this still feels like more of a future thing than something my family can deal with in 2017.

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