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Boston unveils online map of solar power potential citywide

Does your roof get enough sun to make solar energy panels worthwhile? The city of Boston wants to help people answer that question.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh launched a new map Tuesday that will allow Boston homeowners and businesses to see their roof’s solar energy potential.

Solar System Boston will not only show any particular roof’s solar-gathering potential, but will also show cost estimates for solar panel installation, the mayor’s office said in a statement. The map was created in partnership with Mapdwell, a Boston-based spinoff from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“Going solar is increasingly an attractive option for Boston homes and businesses,” Walsh said in a statement. “With solar prices plummeting, and Massachusetts having some of the best incentives in the country, this map will introduce the benefits of solar to a broader audience.”


Solar System has mapped all 127,000 buildings in Boston, and found a citywide potential for 2.2 gigawatts of solar power. Boston currently has more than 12 megawatts of solar power installed; the city has set a goal of installing 25 megawatts by 2020.

Later this fall, the city will analyze the solar potential of all municipal buildings through a separate contract. With this information, the city will begin exploring further steps to install solar panels, the mayor’s office said.

“Understanding our options to adopt and implement green building strategies is an important part of the City’s Climate Action Plan,” said Brian Swett, chief of environment, energy and open space, in the statement. “Not only will this new map help Bostonians go solar, but it can help residents, businesses and the City save money as well.”

Boston is currently updating the action plan, which will include strategies to reach Boston’s goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020 and by 80 percent by 2050. The plan will become available for public comment in November.


The solar energy map is available online at www.mapdwell.com/en/boston.

Kiera Blessing can be reached at kiera.blessing@globe.com.