In this paper, we develop a cost-benefit model that uses housing and demographic data from the U.S. Census, solar irradiance and electricity price data from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and roof segmentation data from Google’s Project Sunroof to study cost-effectiveness by zip code of purchasing one particular model of a rooftop solar installation, the Tesla solar roof and Powerwall.

We find that zip codes in the arid, sunny Southwest have the highest cost-effectiveness, while Appalachia and western Washington have the lowest cost-effectiveness, due to low electricity prices and low solar irradiance, respectively. We also discuss the impact of different federal and state subsidy models on cost-effectiveness.

Along with assisting in the data preprocessing and analysis, I made and designed the maps displaying our results using QGIS and Adobe Illustrator.