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  • Writer's pictureArpit Shah

Mapping Rooftop Solar power potential using GIS-based Siting

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

Power of Technology aside, what many of you may find compelling about this workflow is the ability to address a 'specific, yet complex' problem statement using an 'elaborate, yet structured' approach. Much like those tricky interview questions - 'What is the market size for razor blades in India?' where you've got only macro-information to work with at the beginning and where you are evaluated on (the rigor of) the methodology of estimating more than (the accuracy of) the estimate itself.

Here's a trick question for you - Estimate the annual (rooftop) solar power generation potential in the locality you live in.

Spare a couple of minutes to think over it before you watch the 4-minute Case video below. What information would you need? Which factors / parameters / constraints would you consider in your analysis? Would your method be practical / feasible?

In the case video, we've solved the question using just three resources-

a) A Digital Surface Model (DSM depicting elevation values of the ground, and features on the ground when present, such as buildings, trees, vehicles etc.)

b) Building Footprint of the Locality,

c) A powerful Location Analytics platform to assist us with the computation.


The video is best viewed in YouTube's HD setting either on PC or on Landscape mode in Mobile Phone. You can reduce / increase the play speed as per your viewing preferences.

Video 1: Estimating Solar Potential in a Locality

I hope you found the methodology used in the case video to be interesting. Our answer (not included in the case video) is -

Map Layer's Statistics
Figure 1: Map Layer's Statistics

The electricity generation potential from rooftop solar panels in our area of interest (AoI) is 20,710 MWh annually.

Needless to say, there are multiple ways to refine the output of this model. We can add more parameters (we've ignored public spaces), relax or strengthen the constraints (spot and remove water tank, existing infra & installations from the rooftops), etc.


There are a wide variety of tools available for solar radiation computation & analysis within the location analytics platform also commonly known as Geographic Information System (GIS). You may read more about it here.

To know more about how location analytics can help the Renewables sector, refer the GIS technology page here.


Update: 19th October 2020: Since we are talking about Solar, See actual footage of drones inspecting a solar farm -

Useful, isn't it?



Intelloc Mapping Services | Mapmyops is engaged in providing mapping solutions to organizations which facilitate operations improvement, planning & monitoring workflows. These include but are not limited to Supply Chain Design Consulting, Drone Solutions, Location Analytics & GIS Applications, Site Characterization, Remote Sensing, Security & Intelligence Infrastructure, & Polluted Water Treatment. Projects can be conducted pan-India and overseas.

Several demonstrations for these workflows are documented on our website. For your business requirements, reach out to us via email - or book a paid consultation (video meet) from the hyperlink placed at the footer of the website's landing page.


Much Thanks to Learn ArcGIS for the training material. Study has been done on Esri's ArcGIS Pro Location Analytics Platform.


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