3TIER Expands Geographical Coverage of Most Advanced Solar Map & Dataset

State-of-the-art solar assessment now available in new regions

3TIER® today announced the geographical expansion of its advanced solar map and dataset, previously available for the entire Western Hemisphere, to now include Asia, the Middle East, and Oceania. The added regions now will have access to 3TIER's state-of-the-art suite of solar assessment products that enable installers, developers, financiers, and governments to identify and fully understand their solar resources to better target investment and guide policy.


The new solar map and dataset include the rapidly growing solar power markets of India, Australia, and Japan.

"As these regions begin developing their abundant solar resource, it is critical that they fully understand both the long-term potential and inherent variability of the resource," said Kenneth Westrick, founder and CEO of 3TIER, the global leader in renewable energy information services. "Our assessment technology provides the solar irradiance and atmospheric information that is required to make solar power a viable alternative.

"India is a good example of a region with tremendous solar potential," Westrick added. "However, there is more spatial variability than one might expect, and the monsoon and other seasonal effects will greatly impact solar power production throughout the year. Our solar dataset captures these variances, and when we integrate wind and temperature data, you start to see significant differences in long-term energy output between locations that are just a few kilometers apart."

The geographical additions to the solar map and dataset are another important milestone in 3TIER's "REmapping the World ™" initiative, a global effort intended to accelerate the adoption and integration of renewable energy worldwide. In January 2009, the company became the first to map the world's wind resources at a high resolution and will complete mapping of global small hydro resources in 2010.

"If we want nations to capitalize on domestic and sustainable energy sources, they need information about what renewable energy resources, or combination of resources, exist," said Westrick. "REmapping is a sophisticated mapping technology initiative to show where renewable resources are, and change the way we look at the world's energy production options.

"It is estimated that there are 80,000 villages in India without access to electricity, Westrick added. "India has good solar potential and this map and dataset provides, for the first time, the information needed to identify the best areas for development. This information shortens the process needed to make sound decisions about where to invest in solar power generation and bring electricity to remote regions of India."

Wind and solar maps are available through 3TIER's FirstLook® Prospecting tool, a Web-based service providing free access to average wind speed ranges and average annual solar irradiance estimates. The expanded solar regions will be online in early 2010, but 3TIER products based on the dataset are available now. To navigate the maps and accompanying datasets visit: http://firstlook.3tier.com.

3TIER's full-suite of solar prospecting and assessment products covers applications ranging from small-scale residential installations, to utility scale-development and regional transmission planning.

Product highlights include:

• GIS data layers and an application programming interface (API) that provide average annual values for Global Horizontal (GHI), Direct Normal (DNI) and Diffuse Horizontal (DIF) irradiance.

• 10+ year time-series of all irradiance values available for any location within the dataset.

• Two comprehensive resource assessment products delivering the highest-level of accuracy based on calibration of the dataset against on-site observations (if available) and a high-resolution numerical weather prediction (NWP) model run. They include a 10+ time-series of all irradiance, wind and temperature values, as well as irradiance maps, summary charts, and histograms.

To learn more about REmapping the World visit: www.remappingtheworld.com.

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ABOUT 3TIER

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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