3Tier Cuts Staff After Raising $10M to Find Best Spots for Clean Energy

9/16/09Follow @xconomy

Seattle-based 3Tier Group, the company that raised $10 million in venture capital last December to help developers find ideal locations for renewable energy facilities, had a staff layoff today, according to a company spokesman.

Xconomy received a tip today that 19 employees were let go. The company had 85 people on the payroll the last time we counted in December, meaning today’s layoff would represent a 22 percent staff cut from that position. Todd Stone, a spokesman for 3Tier, confirmed the company laid off employees today but wouldn’t say how many.

“While this does reflect some temporary uncertainty in the renewable energy market, the reduction also aligns our headcount with the strategic transition that we’ve been making over the last 12 months toward a more scalable and efficient information services business model,” Stone said in an e-mail.

The 10-year-old 3Tier, which I profiled back in November, is based at the Westin Building in downtown Seattle. At the time I wrote that story, about one-third of its employees had expertise in atmospheric science, one-third were software programmers, and the rest were in business, said CEO Kenneth Westrick. The company uses supercomputers to forecast the ebbs and flows of wind, solar, and hydropower at different times of day and in different seasons, for example. This is supposed to give investors more confidence in the reliability of the source of renewable power, over decades, that is needed before they will plunk down hundreds of millions of dollars for a new facility, Westrick said at the time.

3Tier’s $10 million venture investment round last December was led by Good Energies.

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  • Anon

    This was the third round of layoffs, beginning in Dec. 2008 with about 5, then in late Feb. 2009 with 4, this time with 19. Total about 35% of the workforce, including marketing, product management, project management and business development personnel.