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Q3 2010 – Winds up in North American and down in Europe

3TIER’s wind performance maps for the third quarter of 2010, show that in general, North American winds were up, whereas European winds were down.

Much of North America experienced higher than average wind speeds during the quarter. Meanwhile virtually all of Europe experienced normal or below normal wind speeds with the exception of the UK and other small pockets that saw significantly elevated wind speeds, 3TIER says.

"The maps highlight how short-term weather patterns can significantly disrupt normal climatic expectations," says Kenneth Westrick, Founder and CEO of 3TIER.

“This sort of retroactive analysis, on a location-specific basis, is also in high demand by our clients. It’s valuable information for reconciling a wind project’s production over the quarter with actual atmospheric conditions to ensure the project is being operated at optimal levels.

"While the performance maps clearly illustrate the variability of wind resources,” Westrick continues, “the good news is that we have the scientific expertise and technology to account for these fluctuations, incorporate them into a project's financials, and forecast their occurrence with a considerable degree of certainty.”

Europe

In Europe, a prolonged high-pressure system over Russia caused an extreme heat wave and depressed wind speeds. This blocking event also depressed wind speeds below their long-term averages across most of central and northern Europe.

Nonetheless, isolated regions saw wind speeds 10% or more above average including the UK, southern Sweden, a band from the Balkans through Romania, and along the Mediterranean coast of France and northern Italy, 3TIER says.

North America

North America experienced a less patch-worked pattern, with wind speeds reaching 10% above average or more across a wide band from Texas through the Great Lakes into eastern Canada and the North-Eastern US.

Likewise, most of the Intermountain region and Rocky Mountains also saw elevated wind speeds.

Forecasting and predictions

"We can assess with a high degree of accuracy, what the performance of a project or region will look like over a 40 year period as it is impacted both positively and negatively by normal climatic fluctuations," says Westrick.

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