Coalville, Leicestershire, U.K. – Aerial mapping company, Bluesky, has assessed the solar power potential of more 500,000 properties in the UK. This significant milestone has been reached within a year of the launch of Bluesky’s innovative service which provides independent assessment of the potential power generation from solar panel installations on property roofs. Bluesky has developed a unique, highly accurate method of calculating the energy potential using their own countrywide high resolution aerial imagery combined with 3D computer modeling to determine the size, aspect and gradient of individual properties.

Bluesky’s solar assessment service is already proving highly popular with energy companies, housing associations and local authorities as well as both domestic and commercial property owners and solar panel installation companies. The company, which has pioneered the mapping of solar energy potential, has also announced a nationwide solar mapping project and an on demand service providing detailed solar suitability reports.

The milestone of half a million properties was reached as the controversy over changes to the Government’s ‘feed-in-tariff’ continues. “Installing solar energy panels is not about short term gains but rather a long term return on investment for both the property owner and the environment. However, if tariffs are reduced it becomes more important than ever to get an accurate and independent assessment of a property’s suitability in order to fully understand the balance between installation costs, energy savings and potential income,” explains Rachel Tidmarsh, managing director of Bluesky International.

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 neighboring properties or trees. Bluesky can also provide measurements for other environmental energy projects such as wind turbines, micro hydro and heat pumps.

Bluesky will be demonstrating their solar mapping services at EcoBuild, March 20-22, 2012.