ARKANSAS, Nov 09 (Future Headlines)- The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) have jointly unveiled the U.S. Large-Scale Solar Photovoltaic Database (USPVDB), a comprehensive and detailed dataset of large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in the United States. This database includes critical information on the location, size, and characteristics of large-scale solar projects, with the goal of facilitating research, planning, and development in support of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ambitions to decarbonize the electricity sector by 2035.
The USPVDB currently maps nearly 4,000 solar systems, which is an invaluable resource for researchers, energy planners, government agencies, and the solar industry. The abundant, detailed information contained in the database is expected to enhance the responsible siting of large-scale solar energy projects across the country, benefiting communities and helping meet climate goals.
Ground-mounted solar projects are projected to require between 5.7 million and 10 million acres by 2050 to achieve the Administration’s decarbonization objectives. The USPVDB is an essential tool for understanding the implications and maximizing the advantages of large-scale solar facilities for hosting communities.
Key features and details of the USPVDB include:
Comprehensive Data: The USPVDB includes information about U.S. large-scale solar PV energy project locations and characteristics, with a focus on data accuracy and accessibility.
Attributes: The database provides data on each facility’s total footprint area and specific attributes, such as panel technology type, axis type, year of installation, and generation capacity. The dataset covers ground-mounted solar facilities constructed through the end of 2021, with capacities greater than 1 MWDC.
Site Types: The database also incorporates attributes from the Environmental Protection Agency’s RE-Powering data, which describe facility site types. This includes whether the site is a greenfield or has previous, current, or suspected contamination. The dataset also identifies agrivoltaic sites that integrate agriculture under or between solar panels.
Applications: Researchers, decision-makers, and other stakeholders can use the data to assess the role of solar energy in decarbonizing the U.S. electric grid, study the interactions between PV facilities and the natural environment, plan investments in PV infrastructure, and more.
Update Frequency: The USPVDB will be updated annually to ensure the data remains current and relevant.
Accessibility: The data will be available for download in various formats and can be accessed through an online map viewer.
This initiative builds upon the expertise developed through the creation and maintenance of the DOE-supported U.S. Wind Turbine Database, which contains location and technical specifications for over 72,000 wind turbines across the United States. USGS and LBNL will host a webinar to introduce the database and online viewer on November 16, providing further insights and guidance for users.
The development of the USPVDB is funded by the DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) and the USGS Energy Resources Program. This initiative contributes to the broader effort to enhance renewable energy infrastructure and reduce carbon emissions, aligning with the nation’s commitment to clean energy and sustainability.
Reporting by Kevin Wood; Editing by Sarah White