New York: New York City has been employing low-flying twin engine planes equipped with LiDAR in order to determine which areas are best suited for solar energy as well as empowering the city to better prepare its emergency response system.
“The purpose is to try to give people the tools they need to understand how to adapt solar technology,” said Tricia Case, City University of New York CUNY Director of Sustainability. “With the LiDAR data, we’ll estimate the solar potential for every building in the city.”
The objective is to map structures, elevations, sun and shade, amongst assorted nooks and crannies unique to the city. Among the many uses for the data, in addition to providing information for the most efficient placement of solar panels, is to create updated maps of the areas most prone to flooding.
New York City’s most recent flood plain maps date back to the 1980s and were made using contemporary aerial photography and ground surveys. Federal Emergency Management Agency officials claim that other cities such as San Francisco have already developed solar maps using LIDAR.
Source: Consumer Energy