Synapse analyzed the potential ratepayer impacts of a proposed new Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (“IGCC”) generating facility in Kemper County, Mississippi.
Synapse conducted an analysis of the projected costs and benefits of BGE’s proposed Smart Grid Initiative as well as the proposed allocation of Initiative costs among rate classes and the design of the proposed Smart Grid Charge.
Testimony Exhibits Regarding Baltimore Gas and Electric Company Smart Grid Initiative
Supplemental Direct Testimony Regarding Baltimore Gas and Electric Company Smart Grid Initiative
Reply Testimony Regarding Baltimore Gas and Electric Company Smart Grid Initiative
For the Maryland Office of People's Counsel, Synapse analyzed the projected costs and benefits of the AMI proposed by PEPCO MD and Delmarva MD respectively, as well as the rate and bill impacts of those proposals.
Reply Testimony Regarding the Advanced Meter Infrastructure Plans of Potomac Electric Power Company and Delmarva Power and Light Company
Supplemental Testimony Regarding the Advanced Meter Infrastructure Plans of Potomac Electric Power Company and Delmarva Power and Light Company
Synapse analyzed the policy and ratemaking implications of Allegheny Power and the FirstEnergy Companies filings, the level of projected benefits of the proposed Smart Meter Plans relative to their projected costs, the uncertainty associated with those benefits, and the allocation and rate design issues underlying the cost recovery proposals.
Supplemental Direct Testimony Regarding Allegheny Power Smart Meter Technology Plan
Surrebuttal Testimony Regarding Allegheny Power Smart Meter Technology Plan
Direct Testimony Regarding FirstEnergy Smart Meter Technology Plan
Surrebuttal Testimony Regarding FirstEnergy Smart Meter Technology Plan
Synapse performed analyses of proposed decoupling polices and pilot programs.
Synapse provided expert analysis and testimony in support of a proposed wind farm to be located in Vermont. Our analysis showed that the project will provide needed power, will satisfy renewable energy requirements in the state and the broader region, and provide a hedge against fuel and emissions costs for Vermont ratepayers.
The Deerfield Wind Project - Assessment of the Need for Power and the Economic and Environmental Attributes of the Project
Synapse was involved in a three-year effort in coordination with Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, and District of Columbia advocates to monitor RTO activities in PJM. The central focus of the project was on RPM development and also market monitoring, transmission planning, and load forecasts.
Synapse was retained to review aspects of Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) policy and associated state policies, with the aim of implementing consistent and effective policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions at reasonable cost while minimizing "leakage," or electric system policy boundary, problems.
For this project, Synapse reviewed KCPL’s IRP for consistency with law on the supply side for renewable resources. Tom Franks, of Optimal Energy, acted in a subcontractor role and focused on aspects of demand-side management.
Synapse was retained by Arkansas Public Service Commission staff as a subcontractor to Larkin Associates to provide assistance for a variety of projects related to electric resource planning and power procurement during July 2006 through June 2007. The first project evaluated whether Entergy Arkansas Inc. (EAI)’s proposed acquisition of a combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) capacity was in the public interest. Tasks included the preparation of a background report on fuel diversity policies and practices, and testimony supporting the findings. This work assisted the Commission in its determination of whether to recommend the adoption of a fuel diversity standard under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005).
Synapse also evaluated the economics of a proposed coal plant in southwestern Arkansas. Synapse found that the Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) had not prudently considered the potential for further increases in the cost of building the plant or the costs of likely federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.
Additionally, Synapse reviewed changes to Entergy’s avoided cost methodology, and a proposed scrubber installation on an existing plant. All projects were completed August 2009.
Surrebuttal Testimony on Entergy Arkansas Avoided Cost Computation Methodology
Arkansas Electric Generation Fuel Diversity: Implementation of EPAct 2005 Amendments to PURPA Section 111 (d)
Testimony Addressing the Economic Impact of SWEPCO Proposed Hempstead Project
Phase II (AC) Direct Testimony Regarding Entergy Arkansas Inc. Request for Approval of New Capacity
Phase II (A) Surrebuttal Testimony Regarding Entergy Arkansas Inc. Request for Approval of New Capacity
Phase II (B) Direct Testimony Regarding Entergy Arkansas Inc. Request for Approval of New Capacity
This project consisted of a review of the 2008 integrated resource plan filed by AmerenUE.
Synapse and Lanzalotta Associates analyzed the proposed $1 billion TrAIL 500 kV transmission line from southwestern Pennsylvania to northern Virginia for the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate. Their findings included recommendations to implement energy efficiency and demand response in the West Penn Power service territory of Allegheny Power to reduce local loading, and to reinforce the 138 kV system in the area, instead of building one portion of the proposed line, the segment between 502 Junction and Prexy in PA. The findings also included a recommendation for more rigorous analysis of the overall need for the remaining portion of the line between 502 Junction and Loudoun (No. VA), given PJM’s minimal analysis of the effect of federal CO2 regulation on the claimed PJM dispatch efficiencies and production cost savings associated with the line.
Synapse was retained to assess economics of proposed 500 kV line with emphasis on analysis and critique of Hydro One computation of locked-in energy associated with alternative projects.
Synapse made adjustments to New England avoided electricity cost projections to account for various methods for treatment of carbon dioxide emissions.
Synapse coordinated a statewide effort to identify and evaluate potential state policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the state of South Carolina. Synapse’s focus was on policies that would affect the electricity supply and demand sectors, including reducing the carbon footprint of the generation mix and improving the efficiency of energy use in the state.
Synapse provided services to the Pennsylvania Office of the Consumer Advocate regarding several wholesale power system issues. Our major focus was on PJM’s Reliability Pricing Model (RPM) proposal for a new capacity market structure. Our work in this regard included participation in settlement discussions in the summer and fall of 2007, as well as significant effort on developing a process for implementing reliability and economic transmission system upgrades and the cost allocation metric associated with those upgrades. In addition, we perform periodic work on Market Monitoring and Demand Resource issues.
Clean energy programs and policies can help states achieve their goal of providing a less polluting, reliable, and affordable energy system. Working under Stratus Consulting, Synapse jointly authored a guidebook for evaluating energy system impacts and air emissions reductions from implementing clean energy measures. This guidebook introduces state policymakers and analysts to the concepts, terms, methods, tools, assumptions and models that Public Utility Commissions and utilities use to compare traditional grid electricity with demand and supply-side clean energy resources (e.g., energy efficiency, renewable energy, CHP, and clean distributed generation). Short examples and case studies illustrate the challenges that states face in analyzing clean energy initiatives, as well as the methods they have used to successfully quantify and promote them.
Synapse was retained to collaborate with Nova Scotia Power on its Integrated Resource Planning process. Synapse reviewed the input assumptions and developed a modeling plan. The IRP analysis used the Strategist model. Synapse's work on this IRP included research on a wide range of issues, including the DSM potential study, the fuel price forecasts, the construction costs of new generating capacity, the integration of variable output wind to the NS grid, the prospects for and implications of future carbon emissions regulations, and the evaluation of alternate resource plans.
Evidence of David Nichols Regarding Nova Scotia Power Inc Demand Side Management Plan
For Niagara Mohawk service territory in New York State, Synapse developed projections of electric energy and capacity costs which will be avoided due to reductions in electricity use and natural gas costs that will be avoided due to reductions in natural gas use. Deliverables included detailed projections for an initial fifteen year period beginning in 2007 and escalation rates for another fifteen years from 2022 through 2037.
For this project, Synapse performed a detailed analysis of the impacts of distributed generation resources on wholesale electric energy prices and air emissions in Massachusetts. Impacts analyzed include potential reductions on the level of wholesale electricity market prices and associated air emissions.
Synapse subcontracted to the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE) at Tufts University to write a chapter on the costs and risks of climate change to the electricity energy sector for a report presented by the NRDC. The chapter explored current energy infrastructure in the US and how it might be put at risk from climate change, as well as how energy use could be expected to change under a changing climate. Synapse created a regionally explicit model of hourly energy use in 2005, and applied expected seasonal temperature changes to each region to estimate expected per-capita energy consumption in 2025, 2050, 2075, and 2100. With energy consumption increasing during summer peak periods in warm climates, the costs of procuring power in the south (Florida in particular) and southwest (S. California) resulted in high costs to consumers in those regions. Lower consumption of electricity, gas, and oil in northern latitudes provided net savings for a limited number of consumers. Ultimately, the analysis concluded that climate change could result in net costs of $28 billion per annum by 2025 and $141 billion per annum by 2100. These costs did not include the risk of losing coastal power plants and other infrastructure to coastal flooding. To view the results of the project, please visit http://www.nrdc.org/globalwarming/cost/contents.asp.
Synapse was hired to prepare an expert reports on electric power system issues related to the EPA New Source Review. Bruce Biewald testified in a deposition prior to the settlement of the case. Project completed in July 2007.
For this project, Synapse reviewed a ISO-NE Scenario Analysis report and developed a Companion Report that evaluated two additional scenarios for greater EE, DR, renewables, and reduced carbon resources.
Synapse represented the staff of the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate in the demand-side management (DSM) and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) workgroup. We reviewed various aspects of DSM and AMI initiatives, prepared documents on good practices in these areas, recommended specific programs from other states, and participated in the workgroup.
Synapse was hired by a coalition of public interest organizations to review the proposal by Duke Energy Indiana and Vectren to invest approximately $2 billion in a new integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) coal power plant at Edwardsport. The project included analysis and testimony by Bruce Biewald on computer modeling and resource planning, levelized cost comparisons, and ratemaking issues; by Phil Mosenthal of Optimal Energy on demand-side management potential and costs; Robert Fagan on renewable resource potential and costs; and David Schlissel on carbon dioxide regulations and power plant construction costs. The project team found that the Companies' planning for Edwardsport was inadequate, that the IGCC plant would increase dependence upon coal for electricity generation and would subject the Companies’ shareholders and customers to unnecessary costs and increased risks. Synapse witnesses recommended that the Commission reject the Companies’ request for approval of the proposal to construct and own the Edwardsport IGCC project, and instead require the Companies to do complete and proper planning which should include: (1) up-to-date construction cost estimates for IGCC and other resources; (2) analysis of the cost impacts on customers that reflect the ratemaking treatment that the Companies’ request be used for the resources; (3) use of a realistic range of low, mid, and high case projections for future carbon dioxide prices; (4) full consideration of cost-effective demand-side management, combined heat and power, and renewable resources, and (5) a proper risk analysis that recognizes a range of risks including but not limited to construction cost overruns and project delays as well as fuel prices and environmental compliance requirements.
Direct Testimony of Robert Fagan Reviewing the IGCC Plant Proposal by Duke Energy Indiana and Vectren
Exhibits of Robert Fagan for the Review of the IGCC Plant Proposal by Duke Energy Indiana and Vectren
Direct Testimony of David Schlissel Reviewing the IGCC Plant Proposal by Duke Energy Indiana and Vectren
Cross Answering Testimony of Bruce Biewald Reviewing the IGCC Plant Proposal by Duke Energy Indiana and Vectren
Assist Staff of the Arkansas Public Service Commission as a subcontractor to Larkin Associates on a range of electric resource planning and power procurement issues over the year July 2006 through June 2007. Specific tasks included assistance with development of resource planning guidelines for electric utilities, testimony regarding the reasonableness of the proposal by Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company to acquire additional wind and gas-fired generating capacity, preparation of a background report on fuel diversity policies and practices to assist the Commission in its determination of whether to recommend the adoption of a fuel diversity standard under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005). Advice to Staff in their assessment of SWEPCo’s proposal to construct a new coal-fired generating unit.
Synapse examined three interrelated British Columbia wind power issues for a group of BC environmental organizations and provided expert witness testimony. We analyzed BC Hydro's $3/MWh "firming" premium used at the evaluation stage of their 2006 RFP for energy resources. Synapse also reviewed the liquidated damages (LD) provisions of BC Hydro's standard contract for wind energy providers and summarized existing wind integration operational cost studies. Synapse concluded that the firming premium is not supported as the storage and ramping capability of BC Hydro's hydroelectric resource base is more than sufficient to allow for monthly rather than hourly scheduling. Synapse also concluded that the LD provisions could cause wind projects to appear more expensive than they actually are. Lastly, Synapse recommended detailed technical analyses be conducted to analyze the impact of varying levels of wind penetration on BC Hydro's operational costs. The BC Commission order (May 2007) did direct BC Hydro to look carefully at wind capacity projections.
Synapse and researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health investigated the sources of fine particulate (i.e., PM2.5) emissions, both stationary and mobile, that affect New York City, and the impact of these PM2.5 emissions on air quality and health. The study also examined the potential control and mitigation measures that could be taken to reduce or offset PM2.5 emissions from all sources.
In order to address the effectiveness of LMP markets, Synapse was asked by the American Public Power Association (APPA) to review the theory and goals of the Locational Marginal Pricing (LMP) construct and to hold them up to the several years’ worth of experience in LMP markets. We asked the following questions: (1) Does security-constrained dispatch and LMP pricing work as well in the real world as it should in theory? (2) Have the price-signaling aspects of LMP produced the desired outcomes in terms of investments in electricity infrastructure? (3) Have the LMP markets been workably competitive, or is market power and price manipulation a concern? (4) Have power production costs come down as a result? Our results were presented at the Electricity Markets Reform Initiative (EMRI) symposium, hosted by APPA in Washington, DC on February 5, 2007.
LMP Electricity Markets: Market Operations, Market Power, and Value for Consumers Presentation
LMP Electricity Markets: Market Operations, Market Power, and Value for Consumers Article