Transmission and Distribution

Synapse assesses the costs, impacts, and technical issues associated with proposed transmission solutions and non-transmission alternatives. As part of this work, we frequently use computer simulation models to analyze market power and reliability impacts, quantify costs and benefits, and investigate power flow.

At the distribution level, Synapse evaluates distribution system investments, reliability, and infrastructure issues as part of utility rate cases and other engagements. Our staff conducts prudency, technical, and engineering assessments of distribution system costs, including costs associated with preparation for and response to major events.


Transmission Planning and Siting

Synapse assesses the costs, impacts, and technical issues associated with transmission solutions and non-transmission alternatives in order to inform better policy and planning decisions. Our work evaluates:

  • The need for proposed transmission lines to eliminate or reduce costs in constrained areas, to improve system reliability, or to meet environmental and policy goals
  • The economic costs and benefits of proposed transmission lines versus alternative resource options
  • Undergrounding versus overheading relocated and new transmission lines
  • Regional transmission planning processes
  • The impacts of new transmission lines along proposed and alternative rights-of-way
  • The impact of new transmission projects on financial transmission rights and the associated auction revenue rights for load customers
  • The allocation of costs associated with building new transmission
  • Regional system planning processes to ensure “least cost” proposals (including non-transmission alternatives) for identified system problems
  • FERC 888 open access transmission tariff structures and related issues, including cost allocation impacts, Canadian border import/export issues, and other seams effects

Distribution Systems

Synapse evaluates distribution system investments, reliability, and infrastructure issues as part of utility rate cases and other engagements. Our work in this area includes:

  • Evaluating the prudency and reasonableness of utility petitions to recover storm-related costs
  • Assessing storm-related costs from engineering and technical viewpoints
  • Evaluating the prudency and reasonableness of proposed distribution infrastructure investment plans
  • Reviewing and analyzing utility service reliability metrics