The implementation of the feed-in tariff cut from December 12 has lead solar firms to carefully consider all aspects of a solar installation in order to maximise output and therefore value for customers and investors alike.

Emapsite, a provider of digital mapping content, believes that it may have an efficient solution for identifying suitable roof space for photovoltaic installations.

Emapsite provides a service that helps companies identify eligible roofs for solar PV quickly and at a minimal cost per unit. The service works through a layer of Google Earth, allowing users to quickly assess roof criteria such as aspect, size, obstructions, pitch and solar capacity.

The service is also capable of providing addresses for relevant properties and even generates professional-standard annotated site plans, suitable for notifying planning authorities.

Solar2Energy, a free solar installer focused on the public sector, was one of the first to utilise Emapsite’s service. Managing Director, Caroline Joseph said: “We use Emapsite’s hosted solution to help us pin down the properties we have identified through desktop surveys and validate that they are suitable.

“We also use the solution to put all the documentation together and produce our planning application maps. It’s a very practical tool that gives us instant output.”

Rod Hughes, Managing Director of FreeSolar commented that Emapsite’s input is helping his team gain installation contracts with around 2,000 residential properties across the country every month.

Hughes said: “We are working very closely with Emapsite on a unique system that identifies and quantifies suitable properties in a semi-automated way using graphic information. It enables us to go in and change views, drilling down into more and more detail. We use the information as part of what we need to do to prequalify jobs.”

James Cutler, Emapsite CEO, said: “The cut in feed-in tariffs has led most domestic solar companies to review their business plans and profit forecasts. Many now need to focus even harder on being efficient.”

Cutler continued: “The upside is that geospatial technology is well placed to support that renewed drive. Our solution is ideal as users require no specialist GIS knowledge. Since it is hosted, there are also no data storage, content management or licensing worries.”