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The National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA) yesterday released a technical document identifying a wide range of technologies, programs, and policies that agencies might employ to comply with EPA’s Clean Power Plan. The document, Implementing EPA’s Clean Power Plan: A Menu of Options, contains 26 chapters, each exploring a different approach to reducing emissions.

The flexibility of EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plans allows for many potential pathways to compliance, and state consumer advocates now have a roadmap to navigate their decision-making process. Synapse today published a report on behalf of the National Association for State Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA) that will help consumer advocates work with other state agencies and stakeholders to develop a compliance plan that not only meets EPA’s emissions targets but protects consumers from shouldering the burden of excessive implementation costs.

After hiring Synapse to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of net metering and interconnection in Mississippi, the Public Service Commission released proposed rules on April 7 that would implement net metering and interconnection standards.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio denied on Thursday the price stabilization rider attached to Duke Energy Ohio’s proposed electric security plan, holding with Synapse and with numerous other intervenors concerned that the rider could be detrimental to ratepayers. Synapse associate Sarah Jackson testified in October 2014 that the rider—which would pass on the net costs or benefits associated with the sale of generation from Duke’s Ohio Valley Electric Corporation (OVEC) assets into the PJM market to its customers—could cost consumers millions through 2024.

Synapse released a report on Wednesday based on the latest version of its Coal Asset Valuation Tool (CAVT), which shows that the United States could save roughly $262 billion over the next three decades by shutting down a significant portion of its coal plants and replacing them with less expensive alternatives. The report demonstrates how a variety of factors, including aging infrastructure, more stringent environmental regulations, and lower natural gas prices, are converging to make the majority of coal plants uneconomic.

In 2014, Synapse worked with Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) on two projects to integrate Synapse’s in-house version of ReEDS, a detailed electricity sector optimization model developed by NREL, with REMI’s macroeconomic analysis tool, PI+. This integration gives a high-resolution view of the effect of changing energy prices and investment decisions on job creation, GDP, and income, as well as differential impacts by income group, industry, or region. Synapse and REMI analyzed both a nationwide and a Massachusetts-specific carbon tax.

The EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan allows states the flexibility to collaborate with each other to develop plans on a multi-state basis to meet compliance targets. State agencies and advocates examining such opportunities for cooperation can use Synapse’s Clean Power Planning Tool (CP3T), now with multi-state functionality, to analyze the challenges and opportunities associated with regional compliance.

In 2014, the U.S. electric system looked remarkably different from how it looked ten—or even five—years ago. In the past year alone, the system nearly doubled the amount of incremental installed capacity from renewables as compared to 2013, saw a 13 percent increase in renewable generation, and reached the lowest level of CO2 emissions since 1996.

Long used to encourage utilities to meet reliability, safety, and energy efficiency targets, performance incentive mechanisms are increasingly being used by regulators to address new challenges and opportunities facing the electric industry, ranging from smart grid adoption to clean energy goals.

Synapse recently prepared a regulatory guidance document on several key principles of energy efficiency cost-effectiveness screening for the NEEP Regional Evaluation, Measurement and Verification Forum. The EM&V Forum subsequently adopted the Cost-Effectiveness Screening Principles and Guidelines as a Forum product.

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