In June 2013 as part of The Climate Action Plan, President Obama announced the Climate Data Initiative, an effort to encourage tech innovators to use data about climate change risks and impacts in compelling ways to help citizens, businesses, and communities makes smart choices in the face of climate change. In an effort to help our President reach this goal, Esri posed this challenge to encourage development of game changing apps that promote climate resilience.
In response to the challenge, the University of Minnesota developed the Minnesota Solar Suitability Analysis app which allows users to identify the optimal location for solar panel installations. The app was developed through a semester-long group project in the UMN Masters of Geographic Information Science program. The project mapped solar potential on a large scale across Minnesota using Lidar data and GIS technology. The project team consisted of seven UMN graduate students, and a faculty advisor.
The project team was recently awarded FIRST PLACE in the Esri challenge! Congrats to Ben Gosack, Christopher Martin, Molly McDonald, Michael Moore, Stephen Palka, Devon Piernot, Andrew Walz, and advisor Len Kne for this great honor.
To learn more, visit the Minnesota Solar Suitability Analysis site.