3TIER Offers On-Demand Access to More Accurate Global Wind Data

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Increased “Bankability” helps developers negotiate demanding financial environment.

SEATTLE [WorldofRenewables.com]

3TIER® today launched on-demand online access to its Reference Wind Time-Series, a new product which significantly increases the accuracy of wind energy production estimates for any location worldwide. Rigorous validation has shown that performing Measure-Correlate-Predict (MCP) with 3TIER’s Reference Wind Time-Series reduces the level of uncertainty in annual production estimates, creating “bankable” results that help project developers secure financing in an increasingly demanding financial environment.

3TIER Reference Wind Time-Series provide accurate, 30+ year reference data at an exact hub height for any location in the world, with data for 80% of the world available for immediate, on-demand download. Wind resource analysts can download three months of data at no cost to check the correlation with onsite measurements before purchase. For more information, please visit http://www.3tier.com/en/package_detail/reference-wind-time-series/.

“Worldwide competition for capital to build wind projects is intense,” said Kenneth Westrick, founder and CEO of 3TIER, a global leader in renewable energy information services. “Today, banks and financiers demand a higher level of confidence that projects will be able to service their debt. Fast and cost-effective access to global resource data that reduces long-term uncertainty helps address these concerns and is an important step forward for the industry.”

EMD International A/S, developer and distributor of WindPRO, the world’s premiere wind farm planning and design software, conducted its own validation studies of 3TIER’s Reference Wind Time-Series prior to integrating the data offering into its software. The studies were performed in different regions of the world where EMD had access to reliable, long-term wind measurements from tall towers.

“We found that 3TIER’s reference time-series significantly reduce the long-term correction error compared to data from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), which is often the only option available due to the lack of reliable long-term ground measurements,” said Per Nielsen, manager and senior wind consultant of EMD International A/S. “Using 3TIER’s reference data lowers the uncertainty of the annual energy production (AEP) calculation and provides a more bankable result.”

3TIER’s Reference Wind Time-Series bring the advantages of numerical weather prediction (NWP) modeling to the commonly used technique of Measure-Correlate-Predict (MCP). The MCP process is used by analysts to project the long-term energy potential of a proposed wind project by correlating short-term observational data from the site with a long-term record from a nearby reference site. However, a significant weakness of MCP is the lack of high-quality, long-term reference data, particularly in vast regions of the world were long-term ground station observations simply don’t exist.

3TIER’s Wind Reference Time-Series provide 30+ years of 15 km resolution wind resource data, including hour-by-hour values for:

– Wind speed and direction at a custom height

– Temperature at 2 m

– Air pressure at 0 m

3TIER also performed its own extensive validation of the reference time-series in an analysis of data from more than 450 U.S tall towers. That validation showed a 25 percent improvement in correlations compared to the nearest NCAR/NCEP reanalysis data point, and a 10 percent improvement in correlations compared to the nearest 10 m observation station. Improvements were even more dramatic in areas of complex terrain. 3TIER’s hourly, 15 km resolution time-series data is available globally. By comparison, time-series data from NCAR only provide information in 6-hour increments and at a coarse resolution of 200 km.


Founded in 1999, Seattle-based 3TIER is one of the largest independent providers of wind, solar and hydro energy assessment and power forecasting worldwide. People around the world turn to 3TIER when they want the best scientific information to make decisions about renewable energy projects — from the prospecting stage to operations. For more information, visit www.3tier.com.

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