Low-cost, automated tool helps accelerate development decisions
SEATTLE (March 18, 2009) - 3TIER® today launches its Portfolio Climate Variability Analysis (CVA) in response to wind energy developers with large networks of met towers who need a low-cost, rapid turn-around product to accelerate the decision making process about where to build. By enabling developers to put observational data into a long-term climatological perspective, Portfolio CVASM reduces uncertainty about a location's wind energy value.
"Portfolio CVA was developed at the request of one of our key customers, Horizon Wind Energy, which has an enormous development pipeline and maintains hundreds of met towers," said Kenneth Westrick, CEO and founder of 3TIER, the global leader in weather-driven renewable energy information services. "Developers get tremendous value from our existing FullView® CVA product, and it provides the level of analysis typically required to get funding for a project. But, when you are doing wind energy assessment on Horizon's scale, you need a more nimble, scalable solution that enables you to monitor the long-term, climate-adjusted performance of your entire network of sites from month to month."
Portfolio CVA is fully automated and can be deployed across portfolios of met towers ranging in size from several to several hundred, with observational data of varying durations within the portfolio. Every month Portfolio CVA takes the most recent month's observational data for each location, and compares that data to a 10-year-plus numerical weather prediction (NWP) model simulation for each location. It then returns the raw 10-year-plus, model-run data, as well as the model-run data corrected using the observational data for each location.
This analysis helps developers understand how the wind regime measured during a limited observational period compares to the long-term wind regime that should be expected at the site. In other words, it helps developers understand whether measurements were taken during a period of high, low, or average wind speed, and how these variances are distributed over time.
As a result, developers are able to predict future megawatt potential and identify the locations with the most robust wind energy. Monthly updates allow developers to easily examine the sensitivity of changes that occur with each month of data.
"The need for Portfolio CVA arose from the systematic elimination of the usefulness of traditional, long-term reference stations," said Scott Eichelberger, managing director, 3TIER North America. "The climatic adjustment can be one of the more critical steps in the energy assessment process. Developers with large portfolios have told us they need accurate, long-term climatological data, as well as a better system to compare that with their vast stream of observational data."
Westrick said 3TIER worked closely with Horizon to develop, test and deploy Portfolio CVA. "Portfolio CVA fundamentally improves the way developers do site assessment. It enables developers to leverage the power of climate variability analysis across the entire pipeline and use the on-going climatologically corrected data feeds to do more robust internal analysis. Ultimately, Portfolio CVA helps developers to make better, faster decisions about where to develop and how to deploy their resources."
Horizon is using Portfolio CVA on a majority of its meteorological tower fleet, as well as for operational studies on installed production capacity.
"With today's credit crunch, the squeeze is on to produce supply-side efficiencies," said Eichelberger. "Portfolio CVA gives developers, financiers, and operators the information they need to maximize the value of their wind projects, while mitigating the downside risk of wind resource variability."
In addition to Portfolio CVA, 3TIER provides a full suite of assessment and forecasting services for wind, hydro and solar energy projects. 3TIER uses its knowledge about weather, climate and their impacts on weather-driven renewable energy resources to help clients make better decisions about their investments - before, during and after their projects are built.
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.