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Client:
Michigan Department of the Attorney General
Year:
2007

Synapse evaluated the proposed sale of the Palisades nuclear power plant.  Synapse found that the proposed sale was not in the public interest because the price for power under the proposed power purchase agreement was too high. However, the Commission ultimately approved the sale.

Related Publication(s)
Testimony of David Schlissel Evaluating the Proposed Sale of Palisades Nuclear Plant
Testimony of Rick Hornby Evaluating the Proposed Sale of Palisades Nuclear Plant
Client:
N/A
Year:
2007

Ezra Hausman presented “Protecting Consumers in a Warming World” to the NASUCA Roundtable on Global Warming in Denver, Colorado on June 11, 2007. The brief presentation covered topics including CO2 emissions price forecasts and how to protect consumers through prudent planning.

Related Publication(s)
Protecting Consumers in a Warming World
Client:
AARP
Year:
2007

In the late 1990s, a number of states restructured their electricity markets to allow retail customers to "shop" for their supply. Many states are now considering changes to restructuring law and policies that will result in a return to some form of retail state regulation of electric generation prices and services. Synapse assisted consumer affairs consultant Barbara Alexander in preparing a report for AARP that analyzed the current state of retail regulation and outlined provisions that should be included in any re-regulation legislation in order to protect the interests of residential consumers. Synapse consultants provided research support and served as technical editors.

Client:
Keyspan Energy
Year:
2007

As an add-on project to the development of avoided natural gas and electricity costs in New England over a long-term planning horizon (2007-2022) for a consortium of state utility regulators and utilities, Synapse prepared a forecast of regional natural gas prices for gas distribution systems serving the Brooklyn/Long Island region and the Syracuse region.  The forecast includes projections of natural gas commodity prices, capacity costs and marginal supply costs for electric generation, commercial, and industrial, and residential end uses.

Related Publication(s)
Avoided Gas Supply Costs in New York
Client:
American Public Power Association
Year:
2007

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.

Related Publication(s)
LMP Electricity Markets: Market Operations, Market Power, and Value for Consumers Report
LMP Electricity Markets: Market Operations, Market Power, and Value for Consumers Presentation
LMP Electricity Markets: Market Operations, Market Power, and Value for Consumers Article
Client:
Tellus Institute
Year:
2007

Synapse was asked to review the reasonableness of NSPI's load forecasting methodology for resource planning purposes.  Synapse assessed whether NSPI should develop a methodology to produce an end-use forecast.

Client:
Wisconsin Citizens Utility Board
Year:
2007

Synapse evaluated the proposed sale of the Point Beach nuclear power plants.  The Commission ultimately approved the sale, but applied a number of the conditions Synapse recommended.

Related Publication(s)
Testimony Addressing the Proposed Sale of the Point Beach Nuclear Plant
Surrebuttal Testimony Addressing the Proposed Sale of the Point Beach Nuclear Plant
Client:
Vermont Natural Resources Council
Year:
2007

Synapse provided a review and assessment of energy options for VNRC’s use in considering positions on potential energy policy legislation.

Client:
Ohio Office of Consumers’ Counsel
Year:
2007

Synapse analyzed the rate components of Duke Energy Ohio's standard offer service to determine whether they provide reasonably priced service in terms of accounting costs or market pricing principles. Taken together, we found the rates poorly defined and to not have a reasonable basis. Neil Talbot presented testimony in this case before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio on March 9, 2007.

Related Publication(s)
Duke Standard Offer Service Rate Case
Client:
Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board
Year:
2007

Synapse conducted and engineered an economic review of Nova Scotia Power's proposed addition of a heat recovery steam generator and duct fitting to an existing combined-cycle power plant. Synapse recommended Board approval of the Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG) portion of the project, but not the duct firing portion. The Board agreed with Synapse's recommendation. Project completed in 2007.

Related Publication(s)
Tufts Cove Waste Heat Recovery Project - 2007
Client:
City of Alexandria, Virginia
Year:
2007

Synapse examined the impact that retiring Mirant Corporation's Potomac River Generating Station would have on electric system reliability in and around Washington, DC and Northern Virginia. Synapse also assisted the City of Alexandria to identify potential generating and transmission system alternatives to continued operation of the facility.

Client:
Town of Rockingham, VT
Year:
2007

Synapse provided an economic valuation of the Bellows Falls hydroelectric facility as of April 2006 for the Town of Rockingham, VT.

Client:
Union of Concerned Scientists
Year:
2007

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) retained Synapse to review, from a public policy perspective, the merits of long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) between developers of wind power projects and providers of retail electric supply service (“load serving entities” or LSEs) in restructured electric markets. This review found that long-term PPAs encourage the development and/or expansion of wind power projects. Using Massachusetts as a case study, Synapse found that long-term PPAs provide several important benefits to customers of the contracting LSEs in particular, and to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Commonwealth) in general. The benefits of the PPAs to the customers of the contracting LSEs include mitigation of price volatility, mitigation of future increases in prices and reduction in the cost of RPS compliance reflected in those prices. In addition, because long-term PPAs encourage the development and/or expansion of wind power projects, they provide additional benefits to the customers of the contracting LSEs, and to the Commonwealth in general, in the form of reductions in dependence on natural gas, increased generation diversity, and reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide. 

Related Publication(s)
Role of Long-Term Power Purchase Agreements in Fostering Development of Wind Energy Projects in New England
Client:
Regulatory Assistance Project, California Public Utilities Commission
Year:
2007

Synapse was hired to analyze the costs and effectiveness of supply-side and load-side up approaches for state carbon reduction policy for the electric power sector. Bruce Biewald prepared a simple Excel model and presented the results to CPUC/CEC.

Related Publication(s)
Exploration of Costs for Load Side and Supply Side Carbon Caps for California Presentation
Exploration of Costs for Load Side and Supply Side Carbon Caps for California Excel Workbook
Client:
Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Year:
2007

Synapse reviewed the electric DSM programs of Tampa Electric Company (TECO or the Company), and identification of increases the Company could achieve to its planned DSM impacts on energy requirements and peak demands. Testimony of David Nichols identified additional potential based on two cost-effectiveness perspectives. Testimony was filed in FL Public Service Commission Docket No. 07-0467-EI concerning the determination of need for a new TECo power plant.  TECo withdrew its application before the testimony was scheduled to be heard by the Commission.

Related Publication(s)
Testimony Petitioning Tampa Electric on the Need for Polk Power Plant Unit 6
Client:
N/A
Year:
2007

Synapse’s Dr. Ezra Hausman submitted testimony before the Massachusetts State Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies regarding global climate change science and the benefits of a revenue neutral carbon tax.

Related Publication(s)
Prefiled Testimony on The Revenue Neutral Carbon Tax Study Bill
Live Testimony on The Revenue Neutral Carbon Tax Study Bill
Client:
New Mexico Public Regulation Commission Staff
Year:
2007

On the basis of Synapse’s analysis of likely future CO2 prices and a presentation by Synapse staff at a March 2007 workshop, the New Mexico Commission adopted a range of projected levelized CO2 emission allowance costs of between $8 and $40 that electric utilities will have to use in their future resource planning.

Related Publication(s)
Carbon Dioxide Emissions Costs and Electricity Resource Planning
Client:
N/A
Year:
2007

Chris James presented “The Business Case for Energy Efficiency: How to Bend the Curve” before the International Joint Commission in Bismarck, North Dakota on October 4, 2007.

Related Publication(s)
The Business Case for Energy Efficiency: How to Bend the Curve
Client:
N/A
Year:
2007

David Schlissel presented “The Risks of Building New Nuclear Power Plants” before the Utah State Legislature Public Utilities and Technology Committee on September 19, 2007. The presentation covers the historical costs of nuclear construction; factors behind rising power plant construction costs; the economics of new nuclear units; and additional risks for plant owners and investors.

Related Publication(s)
The Risks of Building New Nuclear Power Plants
Client:
Town of Jay, Maine
Year:
2007

Assisted the valuation consultant retained by the Town of Jay by analyzing the expectations regarding the gas-fired cogeneration facility project's long-term annual revenues and operating costs for two set points in time.

Related Publication(s)
Projected Revenues and Operating Costs of Androscoggin Energy Center as of April 2004 and April 2005
Client:
Rhode Island Greenhouse Gas Working Group
Year:
2007

In collaboration with Raab Associates, Synapse provided a summary overview of the background and context for implementation of the Least Cost Electricity Procurement in Rhode Island and an outline of the major issues associated with its implementation. 

Related Publication(s)
White Paper on Least Cost Electricity Procurement in Rhode Island
Client:
Ohio Office of Consumers’ Counsel
Year:
2007

Synapse provided the Ohio Office of the Consumer Counsel and other consumer advocates with assistance in evaluating PJM's proposed Reliability Pricing Model (RPM) for capacity markets. Synapse reviewed, proposed modifications, and intervened in a contested process at FERC to determine the final design of the RPM capacity market. Our efforts helped secure modifications to the model that will save state ratepayers in PJM hundreds of millions of dollars annually. In addition, Synapse assisted the Office with transmission planning for economic and reliability upgrades (including cost allocation).

Client:
Office of the People's Counsel for the District of Columbia
Year:
2007

Synapse provided the Office of the People's Counsel with assistance in evaluating PJM's proposed Reliability Pricing Model (RPM) for capacity markets. On behalf of DC OPC and other consumer advocates in the PJM wholesale power system, Synapse reviewed, proposed modifications, and intervened in a contested process at FERC to determine the final design of the RPM capacity market. Synapse provided assistance to DC OPC in all phases of the review, comments, technical conferences, and settlement processes, and our efforts helped secure modifications to the model that will save state ratepayers in PJM hundreds of millions of dollars annually. In addition, Synapse assisted the Office with transmission planning for economic and reliability upgrades (including cost allocation).

Client:
Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board
Year:
2006

Synapse was retained to analyze and critique NSPI's application for an air emissions strategy to meet Provincial emission compliance regulations. Our focus was upon the alternatives and methodology used by NSPI to determine its preferred option for SO2 and NOX reduction. We reviewed the Company's STRATEGIST model runs. 

Related Publication(s)
Direct Testimony Regarding the Review of NSPI Emissions Compliance Plan
Supplemental Evidence Regarding the Review of NSPI Emissions Compliance Plan
Client:
Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana
Year:
2006

Synapse reviewed SIGECO's (Vectren's) environmental compliance plan and prepared testimony addressing system planning, the proper role of demand-side management and renewables in compliance planning, and the need to anticipate climate policy and carbon prices. Synapse's analysis and recommendations are presented in the testimony of Bruce Biewald in Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission Cause No. 42861.

Client:
Utility Consumers’ Action Network
Year:
2006

Synapse evaluated the potential for developing better alternatives for moving electricity produced by renewable technologies from the San Diego County/Imperial County/Baja region into San Diego than the new 500 kV transmission line proposed by San Diego Gas & Electric.

Client:
Missouri Office of Public Counsel
Year:
2006

Synapse evaluated the fairness of Empire Electric’s proposed rate treatment of off-system sales and consideration of a fuel clause adjustment.  Synapse critiqued Empire’s modeling of fuel costs and projections of natural gas prices as part of a proceeding before the Missouri Public Service Commission and supported expert testimony before that commission. Project completed in November 2006.

Client:
Missouri Office of Public Counsel
Year:
2006

Synapse evaluated the fairness of Kansas City Power and Light’s proposed rate treatment of off-system sales.  KCPL proposed an unorthodox accounting treatment allocating “margins” or profit with an “Unused Energy” allocator. Synapse provided support for expert testimony before the Missouri Public Service Commission. Project completed in November 2006.

Client:
Residential Utility Consumer Office of Arizona
Year:
2006

Synapse investigated a number of issues in a rate case: 1) whether Arizona Public Service’s (APS) acquisition of the Sundance Generating Station was prudent; 2) whether the amounts that APS requested for Operating & Maintenance expenditures (“O&M”) for the PWEC Units and the Sundance Plant were reasonable; and 3) the generation and associated costs included in APS’ base rate application. Synapse found that APS’ acquisition of the Sundance Plant was reasonable and prudent. However, we found that the Company’s requested power plant O&M was unreasonably high and should be reduced for both plants. Project completed in February 2006.

Related Publication(s)
Direct Testimony of David Schlissel Regarding the Audit of the Fuel and Purchase Power Practices of the Arizona Public Service Company
Direct Testimony of Rick Hornby Regarding the Audit of the Fuel and Purchase Power Practices of the Arizona Public Service Company
Surrebuttal Testimony of David Schlissel Regarding the Audit of the Fuel and Purchase Power Practices of the Arizona Public Service Company
Surrebuttal Testimony of Rick Hornby Regarding the Audit of the Fuel and Purchase Power Practices of the Arizona Public Service Company
Client:
Utility Consumers’ Action Network
Year:
2006

Synapse evaluated the potential benefits and costs associated with the deployment of Broadband Over Power lines (BPL) in a utility’s service territory. The potential benefits of BPL include the ability to use the existing power lines and the wiring inside homes and other buildings to offer enhanced energy services and load control, to facilitate the use of distributed generation, for automatic meter reading, to provide internet and other informational services to customers, and for increased system monitoring and outage detection. Project completed in March 2006.

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