All large-scale solar energy facilities can now be found on a single map thanks to a collaboration between the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
The interactive map is based on the United States Large-Scale Solar Photovoltaic Database (USPVDB) and is called the USPVDB Viewer.
The database is expected to be used by government agencies, scientists, private companies, and other stakeholders for a variety of analyses. Examples of uses include operational impact analyses related to the role of solar energy in the U.S. electric grid, interactions between photovoltaic facilities and the natural environment, and investments in photovoltaic infrastructure.
The new, large-scale solar database contains all ground-mounted commercial U.S. solar photovoltaic facilities with capacities of one megawatt or greater. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) classifies all solar facilities with capacities of one megawatt or greater as large-scale and those with capacities of less than one megawatt as small-scale.
The database currently contains data for nearly 3,700 U.S. large-scale solar facilities across 47 states plus Washington, D.C. that became operational between 1986 and the end of 2021. The database contains nearly 100% of this category of facilities installed during that period.
The USPVDB contains energy facility locations and their attributes, including the size of the solar panel array area, panel technology type, axis type, year of installation and rated capacity to produce electricity.
The full dataset can be downloaded in a variety of formats, and users can connect to the underlying data and incorporate data services into their own software and applications.