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Client:
Maryland Public Interest Research Group
Year:
2003

Synapse prepared a report on the proposed Maryland Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The analysis examined benefits of the policy, experiences in other states, elements of a successful RPS, renewable power generation resource options, and projected cost impacts of the policy. Project completed in April 2003.

Related Publication(s)
The Maryland Renewable Portfolio Standard: An Assessment of Potential Cost Impacts
Client:
AARP
Year:
2003

Synapse analyzed settlement agreements in two Vermont rate cases and made recommendations for clarification and modification; specifically, the return on equity in one of the settlements was found to be too high. Neil Talbot prepared testimony that supported an alternative return.  Project completed in December 2003.

Related Publication(s)
Direct Testimony Analyzing Settlements in VT Electric Utility Rate Cases
Rate Schedules Analyzing Settlements in VT Electric Utility Rate Cases
Client:
Resource Insight Inc.
Year:
2003

Synapse conducted multi-area electricity market simulation analysis using the PROSYM-MULTISYM model to support analysis of generation, transmission, and demand-side resource options available to serve electric service needs in New York City.  Project completed in April 2003.

Client:
Vermont Public Service Department
Year:
2003

Synapse examined the economic theory and methodology supporting the calculation of environmental externality values.  These values were used in distributed utility planning in Vermont.  The analysis was conducted by Dr. Frank Ackerman, Director of the Research and Policy Program at the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University.  Project completed in February 2003.

Client:
Connecticut Office of Consumer Counsel, Maine Office of the Public Advocate, New Hampshire Office of Consumer Advocate, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Year:
2003

At the request of the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General, the Connecticut Office of Consumer Counsel, the Maine Office of the Public Advocate, and the New Hampshire Office of Consumer Advocate, Synapse analyzed the impact that the FERC’s incentive pricing policy would have on New England transmission costs. The report details the results of that analysis based on estimates of the value of New England’s transmission facilities, as well as the value of facilities proposed for construction over the next several years.

Related Publication(s)
FERC’s Transmission Pricing Policy: New England Cost Impacts
Client:
Nevada Bureau of Consumer Protection
Year:
2003

The Nevada Public Utilities Commission opened a docket to revisit the integrated resource planning regulations that have guided utility planning over the last decade.  The regulations have been updated to account for new renewable portfolio standard requirements in Nevada, as well as recent developments in the electricity industry.  Synapse assisted the BCP in providing comments at Commission workshops and in recommending modifications for the new regulations.  Topics included the identification and evaluation of appropriate supply-side resources, the design and evaluation of demand-side resources, the integration of demand and supply-side resources, load forecasting, accounting for environmental impacts, and cost recovery issues.

Client:
Cape Light Compact
Year:
2003

Synapse estimated the potential for implementing cost-effective efficiency programs on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard through the year 2015. The estimates were based on efficiency measures and programs included in the Compact’s Energy Efficiency Plan: 2003-2007, and thus were based on real-world efficiency opportunities. The study investigated several different scenarios, including one to eliminate future load growth and one to stabilize CO2 emissions.  Project completed in May 2003. 

Related Publication(s)
Energy Efficiency Potential on Cape Cod and Martha`s Vineyard: Long-Term Forecasts and Scenarios
Client:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Year:
2003

Synapse performed a comprehensive assessment of the emissions impacts of demand response programs in New England. As ISO New England continues to refine its nascent electricity markets, there is widespread interest in facilitating demand response (DR) -- the ability for customers to respond to high prices by reducing electricity use or producing their own electricity onsite. There is also widespread interest in the net air emissions impacts of DR.

Synapse assessed the net emissions impacts of selected DR programs using the PROSYM/PROMOD dispatch model. The programs assessed included the economic DR program proposed by ISO New England for the summer of 2003, an economic DR program proposed by the New England Demand Response Initiative (NEDRI) for the summer of 2004, and several scenarios that explored key variables and uncertainties in these programs. In addition, Synapse modeled several energy efficiency programs in order to compare the emissions impacts of these programs to the DR programs. For all programs assessed, Synapse explored both the emissions impacts of DR operation and the impacts of new DR capacity on ISO unit commitment. Project completed in May 2003.

Related Publication(s)
Modeling Demand Response and Air Emissions in New England
Client:
Maine Office of the Public Advocate
Year:
2003

Synapse reviewed whether Central Maine Power Company's proposed 69 kV transmission was needed to ensure adequate system capability and reliability in York County, Maine or whether a lower voltage line, demand side management, and/or distributed generation would have been adequate.  Synapse also evaluated whether part of the proposed line could have been installed underground or inside existing transmission line rights of way. Project completed in July 2003.

Client:
Wisconsin Citizens Utility Board
Year:
2003

In testimony filed at the Wisconsin Public Service Commission in September and October 2003, Synapse found that the Wisconsin Public Service Corporation was over-collecting from ratepayers for funds that would be needed to decommission the Kewaunee Nuclear Plant at the projected end of its service life.  Project completed in September 2003.

Related Publication(s)
Direct Testimony Reviewing Kewaunee Nuclear Plant Decommissioning Costs
Surrebuttal Testimony Reviewing Kewaunee Nuclear Plant Decommissioning Costs
Client:
Arkansas Public Service Commission
Year:
2003

Synapse evaluated technical and economic issues related to Entergy Arkansas' decision to replace the steam generators and the reactor vessel head at the Arkansas Nuclear One Unit 1 nuclear plant.  Project completed in June 2003.

Related Publication(s)
Economic and Technical Evaluation of Arkansas Nuclear Power Plant Steam Generator and Reactor Vessel Head Replacements
Client:
Oklahoma Attorney General's Office
Year:
2003
Synapse was retained to assist the Attorney General's Office in the Empire District Electric Company rate case.  Synapse investigated a number of issues including excess capacity, the cost of new generation, transmission and distribution investments, the Company's weather normalization methodology, and the rate of return. Project completed in July 2003.
Related Publication(s)
Direct Testimony of David Schlissel in the Empire District General Rate Case
Direct Testimony of Neil Talbot in the Empire District Electric Co. General Rate Case
Client:
Regulatory Assistance Project, Energy Foundation
Year:
2003

On behalf of the Regulatory Assistance Project and the Energy Foundation, Synapse prepared a manual on Portfolio Management that reflects state-of-the-art thinking on integrated resource planning, energy efficiency program planning, and risk management for electric utilities. Project completed in October 2003.

Related Publication(s)
Portfolio Management: How to Procure Electricity Resources to Provide Reliable, Low-Cost, and Efficiency Electricity Services to All Retail Customers
Client:
N/A
Year:
2003

Tim Woolf presented “Potential Cost Impacts of a Vermont Renewable Portfolio Standard” to the Vermont RPS Collaborative on September 11, 2003. The presentation summarized Synapse’s report of the same name prepared for the Vermont Public Service Board.

Related Publication(s)
Potential Cost Impacts of a Vermont Renewable Portfolio Standard
Client:
Renewable Energy Technology and Environment Coalition, Natural Resources Defense Council
Year:
2003

In July 2003, NRDC retained Synapse to develop a white paper reviewing the literature on selected benefits of a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The resulting report was titled "Cleaner Air, Fuel Diversity, and High-Quality Jobs: Reviewing Selected Potential Benefits of an RPS in New York State." The report was submitted by The Renewable Energy Technology and Environment Coalition (RETEC) in the New York Public Service Commission's proceeding reviewing the proposed New York RPS.

Subsequently, Synapse commented on work submitted by other parties. During August and September 2003, Synapse evaluated studies of the potential cost of such a standard prepared by other parties and summarized the findings in a report titled "Comments on the RPS Cost Analyses of the Joint Utilities and the DPS Staff." This report was also submitted by RETEC for the record in that proceeding. In June 2004, the Public Service Commission issued a recommended decision in support of the RPS. Project completed in August 2003.

Related Publication(s)
Cleaner Air, Fuel Diversity and High-Quality Jobs: Reviewing Selected Potential Benefits of an RPS in New York State
Client:
Healthlink
Year:
2003

Synapse examined whether PG&E could independently decide to permanently retire one or more of the generating units at its Salem Harbor Station.  The results of this analysis were presented in testimony submitted to the Joint Committees of the Massachusetts Legislature on Government Regulations and Energy.  Project completed in March 2003.

Related Publication(s)
Whether PG&E Can Retire the Salem Harbor Generating facility
Client:
Régionaux de l’Environment du Québec
Year:
2003

Synapse reviewed and critiqued the Hydro-Quebec Energy Efficiency Plan: 2003-2006, and investigated opportunities for improvement or expansion. The review focused on the design of residential programs, as well as budgetary priorities and rate impacts. It also included a comparison with leading energy efficiency programs offered by US electric utilities.  Project completed in April 2003.

Related Publication(s)
Hydro-Quebec Energy Efficiency Plan: 2003-2006
Client:
Office of the Brooklyn Borough President, Greenpoint Williamsburg Waterfront Task Force
Year:
2003

Synapse reviewed TransGas Energy’s proposal to build an 1100 MW combustion turbine facility on the East River in Brooklyn, New York.  Among the issues addressed by Synapse was whether the proposed plant would produce economic, environmental, and reliability benefits for the electric systems in New York City and/or New York State.  Project completed in November 2003.

Related Publication(s)
Direct Testimony Reviewing a Proposed 1100 MW Power Plant in Brooklyn NY
Rebuttal Testimony Reviewing a Proposed 1100 MW Power Plant in Brooklyn NY
Surrebuttal Testimony Reviewing a Proposed 1100 MW Power Plant in Brooklyn NY
Client:
Townline Association
Year:
2003

Synapse reviewed Kings Park Energy’s proposal to build a 300 MW combustion turbine facility in Suffolk County, New York to determine whether the proposed plant would produce economic, environmental, and reliability benefits on Long Island and/or in New York State.  Synapse also examined whether the repowering of existing generating facilities near the proposed site on Long Island would be a reasonable alternative for achieving the same or greater environmental benefits.  Project completed in January 2003. 

Related Publication(s)
Review of the Application by Kings Park, LLC for an Environmental Compatibility and Public Need Certificate for a Proposed Power Plant in Smithtown, NY
Client:
North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation
Year:
2003

Synapse reviewed recent efforts to estimate emission reductions from renewable energy and energy efficiency in Canada, Mexico, and the United States.  The CEC was interested in developing a comparable methodology to calculate displaced emissions from these technologies across North America.  Working with consultants in Mexico and Canada, Synapse assessed recent efforts to quantify the benefits of energy efficiency and renewables and presented the key methodological challenges and best practices in such quantification efforts.  Project completed in September 2003.

Related Publication(s)
Estimating the Emission Reduction Benefits of Renewable Electricity and Energy Efficiency in North America: Experience and Methods
Client:
Nevada Public Utilities Commission Staff
Year:
2003

Synapse reviewed the power procurement and risk management practices of Nevada Power Company and Sierra Pacific Power Company in the Western markets for a test year that included the summer of 2002.  The results of this review were presented in the testimony of Bruce Biewald (PUCN Dockets 02-11021 and 03-1014).  Project completed in May 2003. 

Client:
N/A
Year:
2003

Following the 2003 Blackout, a group of Synapse authors published an article in The Electricity Journal about system reliability. Access “The 2003 Blackout: Solutions that Won’t Cost a Fortune” here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1040619003001374.

Client:
Coalition Helping Organize a Kleaner Environment
Year:
2003

Synapse reviewed Reliant Energy’s proposal to repower its Astoria Generating Station in Queens County, New York. The analysis focused on whether the plant would produce environmental and reliability benefits in New York City and/or New York State. Synapse also reviewed the Applicant’s strategy for mitigating salt deposition from the proposed repowered facility. This assessment led to a proposed settlement among the parties in the case. Project completed in March 2003.

Client:
Connecticut Office of Consumer Counsel, Maine Office of the Public Advocate, New Hampshire Office of Consumer Advocate
Year:
2003

On behalf of its New England consumer advocacy clients, Synapse prepared a paper reviewing the structure and history of the New England wholesale electricity markets, examining market design, and reviewing various options for pricing capacity resources. The paper concludes with a brief review of future market design initiatives.

Related Publication(s)
The New England Experiment: An Evaluation of the Wholesale Electricity Markets
Client:
Vermont Department of Taxes
Year:
2003, 1999

Synapse and Resource Insight prepared estimates of the market value of eight hydro-electric generation facilities in Vermont.  These facilities were assessed using the income approach, the replacement cost approach and the comparable sales approach. The income approach relied upon computer simulation modeling of the New England electricity market. Project completed in 1999, with subsequent support following negotiations continuing until May 2003

Client:
Mississippi Public Service Commission
Year:
2003

Synapse worked with Resource Insight to estimate the value of a power plant site leased by the regulated utility company to its affiliate generating company for use at a new combustion turbine generating facility.  Project completed in February 2003.

Client:
Iowa Office of Consumer Advocate
Year:
2002

Synapse reviewed the plans of two large Iowa utilities to comply with environmental regulations.  This included the analysis of generating plant air emission control options, costs, and effectiveness.  Project completed in June 2002.

Client:
Ozone Transport Commission
Year:
2002

Synapse worked on a two-phase project focusing on electricity industry policies on clean power and energy efficiency.  Phase one identified and summarized clean power and energy efficiency programs that were planned or on-going.  The survey focused on initiatives within the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) States, but also identified certain promising options from other states.  The purpose of the survey was to provide information in a consistent format on each of the programs, and to identify which programs or program aspects were worthy of additional study as OTC continued its clean energy initiative.  The survey was submitted to OTC in January 2002. The second phase was a more in-depth review and technical analysis of specific policies or issues pertaining to clean power and energy efficiency.  Project completed in July 2002.

Related Publication(s)
Multi-Pollutant Programs in CT, MA, NH, and NY
Predicting Avoided Emissions from Policies that Encourage Energy Efficiency and Clean Power
Survey of Clean Power and Energy Efficiency Programs
Client:
Ozone Transport Commission
Year:
2002

Synapse developed a quantitative tool to estimate emission reductions from a wide variety of energy policies in the Northeast.  The tool was designed to assess three types of energy policies: policies that encourage energy efficiency and new clean generation, emissions portfolio standards, and multi-pollutant regulations targeting groups of existing power plants. Synapse used the PROSYM/PROMOD dispatch model to perform detailed marginal emissions analyses of the New England, New York, and PJM power control areas. The quantitative results of these analyses were embedded in a Microsoft Excel workbook designed to allow users to estimate emission reductions from different energy programs.  Users of the workbook have the option to use the data on marginal emission rates developed by Synapse or to use other input data. Changes can easily be made in the workbook to represent different policy design decisions and assess the results of these decisions. The "OTC Emission Reduction Workbook" is available on both the OTC and Synapse websites. Project completed in December 2002.

Related Publication(s)
OTC Emission Reduction Workbook (Version 2.1): Description and User’s Manual
Client:
Renewable Energy Policy Project
Year:
2002

Synapse worked with Brower and Company and Tellus Institute to develop a plan for the aggressive implementation of energy efficiency and renewables resources in six southeastern states. The analysis included electricity market simulation modeling, a technical assessment of cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities, a technical and economic assessment of renewable resource potential, and development of policies for overcoming market barriers to these clean resources.

Related Publication(s)
Powering the South: A Clean & Affordable Energy Plan for the Southern United States

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