Resource Planning

Resource planning is the forum where utilities make decisions about the shape of the electric sector for decades to come.

Electric connected city


Synapse reviews electric utility Integrated Resource Plans (IRP) and pre-approval applications in-depth. Synapse has the ability to run nearly every capacity expansion or production-cost model used by utilities to replicate, assess, and improve resource planning outcomes. This unique ability, paired with our insight into modeling techniques and assumptions, allows us to provide analyses and review at an unparalleled level of depth.

Integrated Resource Planning

Our IRP-related work includes:

  • Reviewing the technical and economic aspects of supply- and demand-side resources
  • Examining and critiquing utilities’ demand forecasts
  • Evaluating the risk and impact of state and federal regulations (both existing and emerging) on planning assumptions
  • Assessing the analytical processes used to evaluate resource choices 
  • Conducting detailed technical analysis using electricity production-cost and capacity expansion models
  • Developing, applying, and critiquing models and their application to particular issues
  • Assessing the regulatory policies used to promote and guide IRP
  • Guiding IRP processes through stakeholder engagement
  • Helping clients understand the implications of resource planning choices

Our team has helped draft integrated resource planning rules on behalf of the Puerto Rico Public Service Commission, and we have worked with the EPA to draft guidance on state planning processes for regulatory compliance. Synapse staff authored a highly-cited IRP Best Practices guide, as well as EPA's Guide to Action chapter on resource planning practices. Synapse founder and CEO Bruce Biewald is a nationally recognized expert in IRP best practices and has testified before Congress on utilities’ use of carbon prices in IRPs.

Clean Energy Portfolio Design

Synapse provides expert support by reviewing utility portfolio analysis and conducting independent modeling of alternative resource portfolios outside of formal IRP proceedings. We perform this work to support litigation positions in docketed proceedings and to create public-facing reports to support clients’ strategic goals. Our clean energy portfolio work includes:

  • Reviewing utilities’ existing resource plans and developing alternative portfolios that can meet system needs
  • Developing alternative and clean energy portfolios that meet specific regulations, policy goals, or science-based targets