How online maps can speed up solar site selection (Client Success Story)


Together with Columbia, S.C-based Beitz and Daigh Geographics, NLR has created a sophisticated service that identifies solar farm development prospects in weeks rather than months, displaying them interactively in a map view. While GIS mapping isn’t new, what’s compelling about this particular application is that the layers can be updated in near real time. They can be viewed with a Web browser on personal computers, tablets or smartphones.

Many variables go into deciding whether a parcel of land is appropriate for solar development: the intensity of the sun’s resources, how much space is available to accommodate arrays, soil types, environmental considerations, such as wetlands or endangered species status, and proximity to existing substations or three-phase towers.

Researching a site for any one factor can be challenging enough. Considering all of them simultaneously usually takes months.

Impatient with that timetable, real estate broker National Land Realty (NLR) turned to the ArcGIS online mapping and data visualization resource from Environment Systems Research Institute (Esri) to rethink how it evaluates land for solar development.

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