3TIER Launches Next Generation of Solar Assessment Products
Wednesday, Oct 14, 2020
3TIER® today unveiled a first-in-class suite of solar assessment products that give utility-scale developers a higher degree of certainty in the availability of solar resources and a more complete picture of the production potential of their projects.  The products provide a 10+ year irradiance dataset, calibrated to observational data if available, and include a wind and temperature climatology to give developers a comprehensive, long-term outlook of their operating environment.

“A year of observational data simply doesn’t provide enough information to make a prudent investment in a solar project,” said Kenneth Westrick, founder and CEO of 3TIER, the global leader in renewable energy information services. “However, 3TIER can use that data to correct biases in our solar irradiance dataset to help developers understand, with greater accuracy, the long-term variability of their solar resource. 

“Another important consideration is wind and temperature, as they affect the efficiency of PV and other solar technologies,” added Westrick. “Their impacts are significant and need to be factored in for a complete analysis of solar resources.”


The products are based on 3TIER’s 10+ year solar irradiance dataset, the most advanced, high resolution solar irradiance dataset ever created.  They also leverage 3TIER’s expertise in numerical weather prediction (NWP) modeling, a capability the company has developed as a leading innovator in wind energy assessment and forecasting. The new products feature a complete wind and temperature time-series, as well as the option of using observational data to correct biases in the solar irradiance dataset, providing a full 10-year irradiance time-series. 


“As the solar industry matures, and in light of the credit crunch, the squeeze is on to produce supply-side efficiencies,” said Westrick. “Our new solar products give developers and financiers the information they need to maximize the value of their solar projects, while mitigating the risk of solar resource variability.”

The integration of wind and temperature as part of a solar study is available through 3TIER’s FullView Solar Site Climate Variability Analysis. Product features include:

  • Annual and monthly-mean irradiance maps of GHI, DNI, DIF
  • Monthly variation of Irradiance
  • Diurnal variation of Irradiance
  • Irradiance histograms for GHI, DNI, DIF
  • Monthly temperature and wind speed variability (min, mean, max)
  • Diurnal temperature and wind speed variability and 12×24 table of hourly means
  • Time-series for solar GHI, DNI, DIF
  • Time-series for 10 meter wind speed and 2 meter temperature (length dependent on region of purchase)

3TIER’s most in-depth and advanced product, FullView Solar Site Resource Assessment, allows developers to provide their own on-site irradiance measurements to calibrate 3TIER’s solar dataset.  Data is adjusted using Model Output Statistics (MOS) incorporating output from a high resolution numerical weather prediction (NWP) model run. The process produces a 10+ year, MOS–corrected solar irradiance time-series with greatly improved solar values and significantly reduced bias.

FullView Solar Site Resource Assessment product features include:

  • Monthly variation of Irradiance (with MOS correction)
  • Diurnal variation of Irradiance (with MOS correction)
  • Irradiance histograms for GHI, DNI, DIF (with MOS correction)
  • Monthly temperature and wind speed variability (min, mean, max)
  • Diurnal temperature and wind speed variability and 12×24 table of hourly means
  • Time-series for solar GHI, DNI, DIF
  • Time-series for solar GHI, DNI, DIF with MOS correction
  • Time-series for wind speed and temperature based on 4.5 km NWP model run
  • Validation Report on the MOS-corrected irradiance time-series compared to observations

3TIER’s dataset is based on more than a decade of half-hourly high resolution (roughly 1 km) visible satellite imagery that has been processed to create hourly values of Global Horizontal Irradiation, Direct Normal Irradiation and Diffuse Irradiation at a horizontal resolution of roughly 3 kilometers. The dataset currently covers the Western Hemisphere.

To capstone the solar product suite, 3TIER also offers more basic solar resource reports, as well as GIS data layers and API applications of the proprietary solar dataset.

To learn more about 3TIER’s basic solar reports visit http://firstlook.3tier.com/solar.

In addition to solar, 3TIER provides a full suite of assessment and forecasting products for wind and hydro 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 3tier.com.


Source: 3TIER

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