Solar Insolation, Minnesota (2006-2012)

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Geographic coverage

43 -97.5 49.5 -89

Source information

Minnesota state lidar collection

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Solar Insolation, Minnesota (2006-2012)

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Author Contact

Kne, Len


Spatial Data
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The Minnesota Solar Suitability Analysis attempts to provide solar insolation analysis for the entire State of Minnesota. As far as we are aware, it is the only project of its scale in existence; similar studies have been limited to metro areas or focus on rooftop insolation. The project's existence is feasible because of statewide, freely available aerial lidar coverage. And the commitment of the team to work long hours on this unfunded project. The project finds itself at the intersection of renewable energy, big data analysis, geospatial technology, and open data availability. This data provides a measure of incedent solar radiation as it is intercepted by the earth surface, or features (such as vegetation and buildings) standing above the earth surface. The data is intended to be used to assess the suitability of a site for solar panel (photovoltaic cell) installations.


The analysis used to produce this dataset looks at geographic location, surface slope, surface aspect, and the effects of shading based on local topography and adjacent structures. A digital surface model was generated from raw LiDAR data. Then, using this DSM, an individual locations on a grid surface were assessed for the amount of direct and indirect radiation that reaches the surface. This analysis was conducted at a 1m resolution for the entire state of Minnesota.

Referenced by

Digital Surface Model, Minnesota (2006-2012)

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Previously Published Citation

Suggested citation

Brink, Christopher; Gosack, Benjamin; Kne, Len; Luo, Yuanyuan; Martin, Christopher; McDonald, Molly; Moore, Michael; Munsch, Andrew; Palka, Stephen; Piernot, Devon; Thiede, Dan; Xie, Yiquan; Walz, Andrew. (2015). Solar Insolation, Minnesota (2006-2012). Retrieved from the Data Repository for the University of Minnesota (DRUM),
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File View/OpenDescriptionSize
q250k_tile_index.pdfReference map showing the area covered by each zip file.303.17 KB
lidar_collection_projects_dates.pdfMap depicting lidar collection projects and dates in Minnesota170.58 KB
lidar_collection_projects_dates.zipGIS shapefile depicting lidar collection projects and dates in Minnesota35.52 KB
solar_scripts.zipZip archive containing GitHub repository with processing scripts4.21 MB
q0326_Solar.zipKenora - Q03264.28 GB
q1110_Solar.zipThief River Falls - Q111033.64 GB
q1126_Solar.zipRoseau - Q112654.6 GB
q1142_Solar.zipInternational Falls - Q114227.99 GB
q1158_Solar.zipQuetico - Q11588.86 GB
q1174_Solar.zipThunder Bay, MN - Q1174287.49 MB
q1910_Solar.zipGrand Forks - Q191025.86 GB
q1926_Solar.zipBemidji - Q192657.3 GB
q1942_Solar.zipHibbing - Q194262.68 GB
q1958_Solar.zipTwo Harbors - Q195835.3 GB
q1978_Solar.zipHancock, MN - Q19781.57 GB
q2710_Solar.zipFargo - Q271017.57 GB
q2726_Solar.zipBrainerd - Q272659.09 GB
q2742_Solar.zipDuluth - Q274257.57 GB
q2758_Solar.zipAshland, MN - Q2758829.97 MB
q3510_Solar.zipMilbank - Q351014.97 GB
q3526_Solar.zipSt. Cloud - Q352660.93 GB
q3542_Solar.zipStillwater - Q354240.12 GB
q4310_Solar.zipWatertown - Q431012.52 GB
q4326_Solar.zipNew Ulm - Q432654.71 GB
q4342_Solar.zipSt. Paul - Q434246.62 GB

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