71% of Salt Lake City’s roofs could have solar panels on them

SALT LAKE CITY -- A report by Internet giant Google claims that 71 percent of the city's rooftops could support solar panels.

If they did, the impact to the air and climate could be massive. Google's Project Sunroof analyzed the area and found 43,800 rooftops of homes and business could support solar panels. That's about 78 million square feet of rooftop space.

Google's Project Sunroof claims that if all those solar panels were put in place, it would remove 403,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. Their published figures claim that is the equivalent of 10 million trees over 10 years or 85,000 cars off the roads for a year.

The report, published on Salt Lake City's "SLCGreen" blog, noted their own push to have the city on 100 percent renewable energy by 2032. The city did lament that Governor Gary Herbert signed a bill phasing out tax credits for consumers who have solar panels installed.

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski speaks at a news conference on the city's solar power usage on the roof of the Public Safety Building, which is 100 percent powered by clean energy. (Photo by Ben Winslow, FOX 13 News)