Bluesky solar mapping of Harlow’s council properties

April 25, 2012 -- Solar mapping from Bluesky has been used by Kier Harlow, a joint venture company between Kier and Harlow Council, to support an ambitious scheme to install solar panels on Council owned properties in Essex, UK. Aiming to save residents money on their energy bills, provide a valuable income stream for the Council and reduce carbon emissions, the scheme offered free installation for qualifying properties. 

Bluesky used the most up-to-date aerial photography, highly accurate 3D computer models and specially developed algorithms to accurately calculate the energy potential of individual roofs. These helped Kier’s energy solutions arm identify those properties with the greatest potential.

The UK Government’s Feed in Tariff originally offered the opportunity for Kier Harlow to generate a substantial income for Harlow Council via ‘roof rent’ fees with Kier recouping the costs of solar panel installation with payments from energy companies for every kilowatt of energy produced. Solar panels would be offered on qualifying properties free of charge and residents would receive savings on their energy bills for up to 25 years. 

“The Bluesky Solar Potential assessment allowed us to target properties that would provide the greatest potential return on investment,” commented Paul Slater of Kier’s energy solutions team. “By identifying properties with suitable roofs the cost of installation could be offset by the income generated by the Feed in Tariff. This intelligence was invaluable as it allowed us to make initial assessments and decisions at the desktop saving thousands of pounds on site surveys.”

Bluesky has a unique method of generating solar potential maps using photogrammetric techniques to accurately measure and record factors that may contribute to the suitability for solar power. Bluesky calculates the energy potential using high resolution aerial photography combined with 3D data to determine the size, aspect and gradient of individual properties. The suitability of each roof element is then considered taking into account roof shape and other impediments such as sky lights or dormer windows, as well as potential obstructions such as neighbouring properties or trees. 

Bluesky were also able to supply Kier Harlow with performance assessments and potential energy generation rates based on solar panel specifications supplied and location specific solar radiation measurements.



Bluesky Tel +44 (0)1530 518 518

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