Solar maps provide monthly average daily total solar resource information on grid cells. The insolation values represent the resource available to a flat plate collector, such as a photovoltaic panel, oriented due south at an angle from horizontal to equal to the latitude of the collector location. This is typical practice for PV system installation, although other orientations are also used.
Several map variations are accessible below. For information on how these maps were developed, access the How the Maps Were Made.
Note: To view maps, Pop-ups must be enabled in your web browser.
Types of Maps
These maps show national solar photovoltaics (PV) resource potential and concentrating solar power (CSP) resource potential for the United States. They are available in JPEG format.
This map interface accesses monthly average PVWatts Version 2 - Dynamic Maps solar resource information for any given location in the United States. It also provides access to spreadsheets giving average monthly radiation for 14 different types of solar collectors. Data for individual collectors are also available for fixed, flat-plate (photovoltaic) collectors on five different orientations. Added features include a zoom tool, which allows the user to zoom to zip codes and latitude/longitude locations.
PVWATTS calculates electrical energy produced by a grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) system. Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory developed PVWATTS to permit non-experts to quickly obtain performance estimates for grid-connected PV systems within the United States. To access this calculator, go to PVWATTS Version 2.
MAP OF U.S. SOLAR MEASUREMENT STATION LOCATIONS - DYNAMIC MAP
This U.S. Solar Measurement Station Locations map shows the spatial distribution of measurement stations across the U.S. This site displays stations that are monitored by the following programs and agencies: DOE's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program, NREL's Cooperative Network for Renewable Resource Measurements (CONFRRM), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) that includes: Central UV Calibration Facility (CUCF), Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory (CMDL), Integrated Surface Irradiance Study (ISIS), SURFace RADiation Budget Measurement Network (SURFRAD), the University of Oregons' Solar Radiation Monitoring Laboratory, and the University of Texas' Texas Solar Radiation Database. Each of the measurement station locations has a hyperlink that will take the user to the web site of that particular station or associated agency or program.
To allow the user to pinpoint their area of interest, reference information such as counties, major roads, major rivers, places (cities), and zip codes have been added. In addition, we have added a tool called PVWatts V2. This tool allows the user to calculate the energy production and cost savings for grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) systems located throughout the United States.