SEATTLE (March 30, 2009) – 3TIER today announced that its FirstLook Prospecting
tool has more than 25,000 registered users who regularly access the website for wind and
solar energy resource information. The free, online tool provides basic wind and solar
resource data with dynamic, clickable high-resolution resource maps.
“The fact that FirstLook has attracted such a large and loyal user base is a testament to
the continued growth and interest in renewable energy,” said Kenneth Westrick, founder
and CEO of 3TIER, the global leader in Renewable Energy Information ServicesSM.
“From the largest wind farm developers in the world to homeowners considering
installing solar panels on their roofs, FirstLook is simply the easiest, most accurate, and
most powerful tool out there for early-stage renewable energy prospecting and basic
FirstLook offers registered users scientifically derived data on the value of wind
resources anywhere on the globe, and solar resources anywhere in the Western
Hemisphere. To navigate the wind and solar resource maps and find out more about
FirstLook visit http://firstlook.3tier.com.
FirstLook was launched in 2007 to address the biggest barrier to global renewable energy
adoption – the lack of information, according to Westrick. “The response has been
tremendous. A large percentage of our users visit the site on a daily basis, and the number
of people that go on to purchase more in-depth FirstLook Assessment reports has
surpassed our expectations.”
FirstLook saves developers vital time in prospecting for viable sites for utility-scale
renewable energy development, and accelerates the process of determining where more
in-depth resource assessments should be conducted. However, because FirstLook
democratizes that information, landowners also can determine the value of their resources.
Landowners represent a significant portion of FirstLook’s user base; they regularly use it
to approach renewable energy developers with lease proposals.
FirstLook also has become a significant driver of smaller-scale renewable energy
adoption. “It has become the ‘go-to’ resource for hundreds of residential and commercialscale
manufacturers and installers,” said Christian Sarason, FirstLook product manager.
“They use FirstLook as a consultative sales tool to help educate customers on the value of
their on-site renewable resources, inform hardware and installation decisions, and
For example, Online Solar, Inc., features FirstLook on its website – MrSolar.com – to
enable potential customers to get a better understanding of their solar resources when
evaluating different hardware options. “Many of our new and existing clients need a
reliable, accurate, and user-friendly tool to best evaluate their project needs,” said Blake
Atkins, owner of MrSolar.com, a leading supplier of solar power and solar energy
products including complete solar panel systems. “The FirstLook Prospecting tool and
FirstLook Reports help our customers make the right choices and increase their level of
confidence in their investment.”
FirstLook users interested in solar resources are offered solar irradiance values from the
first comprehensive, contiguous, high-resolution solar dataset for the entire Western
Hemisphere, developed by 3TIER. The dataset provides approximately three times the
resolution of previous industry solar datasets for the United States, and is the only
database today that covers all of North, Central, and South America.
For those seeking information about wind energy potential, FirstLook presents mean
wind speed ranges for any location based on 3TIER’s proprietary global wind resource
dataset. This dataset is the most accurate, consistent, and scientifically rigorous global
wind dataset ever created. The global dataset was augmented in early 2009 to a 5km
resolution after being previously available at a 15km resolution.
“Whether harnessing the power of wind or the sun, the diversity of the FirstLook user
base illustrates the vastness of the renewable energy ecosystem and the tremendous value
that accurate, affordable information plays in driving renewable energy adoption,”
Westrick said. “FirstLook shortens the process needed to make sound decisions about
where to invest in renewable power.”
As FirstLook users identify promising sites, they can augment FirstLook’s basic resource
data by purchasing FirstLook Assessment Reports, which provide a more in-depth
estimate of renewable energy resources at specific locations, including critical
information about the spatial and temporal variablity of the resource.
In addition to FirstLook, 3TIER provides a full suite of assessment and forecasting
products 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 3tier.com.
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