USA – 3TIER today released the first comprehensive, contiguous and high-resolution solar map for the entire Western Hemisphere.
“To produce this map, 3TIER developed a dataset that is approximately three times the resolution of existing industry solar data standards for the United States,” said Kenneth Westrick, 3TIER CEO and founder of the Seattle-based company.
“This is the first and only database of the solar resource that covers all of North, Central and South America,” Westrick said. “Not many organizations have the expertise and super-computing resources to synthesize such massive amounts of historical satellite data or a tool like 3TIER’s FirstLook to present the data in a simple and elegant way.”
Similar to 3TIER’s high-resolution wind maps, a clickable solar map is available online for free through the FirstLook Prospecting™ tool at https://firstlook.3tiergroup.com/solar. This map will allow policy-makers, developers and financiers to quickly identify potential sites and begin assessing their renewable energy potential.
“Development of this solar map is another important milestone in 3TIER’s ‘REmapping the World ™’ initiative, which is intended to accelerate the adoption and integration of renewable energies worldwide,” Westrick said. “If we want developing nations to ‘leapfrog’ over fossil fuels, they need information about what renewable energy resources or combination of resources exists. REmapping the World 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.
“Our maps are providing the critical information that has been missing to make renewable energy a viable choice – and resolve the issues around the availability, accessibility and useability of global renewable resource information. The maps provide enough resolution so countries and organizations can begin to look at the potential wind and solar resources at a regional level.”
The solar map is based on 11 years of half-hourly high resolution (roughly 1 km) visible satellite imagery that has been processed to create 11 years of hourly values of Global Horizontal Irradiation (GHI), Direct Normal Irradiation (DNI) and Diffuse Irradiation (DI) at a horizontal resolution of roughly 3 kilometers.
Based on this solar dataset, 3TIER customers can purchase basic or comprehensive reports that contain more detailed solar site analyses.
Available products include:
- FullView Site Analysis Report –basic information delivered within 2 weeks;
- FullView Comprehensive Report – an in depth custom report; and
- GIS layers – annual average and monthly data layers for select regions.
“With the solar market rapidly expanding in North, Central and South American markets, developers are looking for the quickest way to prospect solar sites and choose the best locations for optimum energy production,” Westrick said. “Our reports make it faster and more cost-effective for developers to evaluate potential solar projects and make capital investments in solar energy generation.”
Over the coming months, 3TIER plans to continue to map solar resources, country by country, based upon a priority order that takes into account such issues as solar development policies, availability of the sun and economic development status.