Helena Frudit ’25
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Estimating Solar Rooftop Potential and Investigating Small-scale Generation in the United States
I worked at Climate Central on WeatherPower, a platform that estimates solar and wind electricity generation based on installed capacity and the weather forecast. My objectives were twofold: to improve the reporting of small-scale facilities and to design a tool to convey the intrinsic value of solar energy. For my first goal, I identified datasets that included solar photovoltaic installations with a capacity below one megawatt and adjusted the current methodology. For the second goal, I planned to create a platform that could estimate the solar rooftop potential in various geographic resolutions and translate that potential into metrics such as monetary values. I studied the feasibility of creating such a tool, developed a methodology and created a proof of concept. I gained significant technical experience with the software ArcGIS Pro and improved my programming knowledge in Python. This internship also exposed me to the nonprofit world and to research outside of universities. It was fascinating to work with people from different academic backgrounds toward the goal of communicating the realities of climate change. This experience has reinforced my desire to generate a positive impact in the renewable energy field and convey the unprecedented pace and scale of the energy transition.
Innovation and a New Energy Future
Climate Central - Princeton, New Jersey
Jennifer Brady, Manager of Analysis and Production, Climate Central; Eric Larson, Senior Research Engineer, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, Princeton University