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Client:
American Clean Skies Foundation
Year:
2011

For this project, Synapse provided a report comparing state IRP regulations.

Related Publication(s)
A Brief Survey of State Integrated Resource Planning Rules and Requirements
Client:
American Clean Skies Foundation
Year:
2011

Synapse prepared a report examining integrated resource planning (IRP) regulations and rules in the United States. Among other things, the Synapse report examines required planning horizons, frequency with which plans must be updated, resources to be required, and rules regarding coal plant decommissioning.

Client:
Sierra Club
Year:
2011

Synapse provided expert testimony on behalf of the Sierra Club regarding Kansas Utility KCPL’s resource plan, and specifically their request for advanced ratemaking principles for substantial environmental upgrades for the company’s coal fleet. Synapse provided testimony on likely future environmental upgrade costs that should be considered in evaluating the long-term cost-effectiveness of KCPL’s coal fleet and on the appropriate regulatory treatment of these costs. In addition, Synapse reviewed and critiques KCPL’s modeling approach, input assumptions, and the robustness of the company’s scenario analysis. Project completed in 2011.

Client:
Conservation Law Foundation
Year:
2011

Synapse provided brief testimony before the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities outlining the carbon emissions and economic status of generation owned by Public Service of New Hampshire, a Northeast Utilities subsidiary. Project completed in 2011.

Client:
National Regulatory Research Institute
Year:
2011

William Steinhurst of Synapse Energy Economics wrote a comprehensive report for the National Regulatory Research Institute providing basic information on the US electric industry. Project completed January 2011.

Related Publication(s)
The Electric Industry at a Glance
Client:
Civil Society Institute
Year:
2011

For this study, Synapse evaluated and compared two scenarios:

• Business as Usual (BAU): Under this scenario, the country continues to rely on fossil and nuclear generation to meet its energy needs, and electric-sector carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions continue to increase.

• Transition Scenario: Under this scenario, the country moves toward a power system based on efficiency and renewable energy, and CO2 emissions are reduced substantially. In the Transition Scenario, all U.S. coal-fired power plants are retired, along with nearly a quarter of the nation’s nuclear fleet, by 2050.

Synapse estimated the net costs and benefits of the Transition Scenario relative to BAU using a spreadsheet model that accounted for generating capacity, energy, fuel use, costs, emissions, and water use. The study found that the Transition Scenario was significantly less expensive than the BAU Scenario—saving a present value of $83 billion over 40 years. This finding was particularly striking, given that the BAU Scenario included no carbon costs or carbon reductions. Project completed in 2011.

Related Publication(s)
Toward a Sustainable Future for the U.S. Power Sector: Beyond Business as Usual 2011
Client:
American Clean Skies Foundation
Year:
2011

For this project, Synapse researched and wrote a whitepaper on options for providing enhanced revenues to selected resources in PJM’s wholesale markets. Three categories of resources were evaluated: those that provide operational flexibility to respond to system needs in two hours or less, those that satisfy specific state and federal policies (such as renewable portfolio standards), and those that reduce the carbon footprint of system resources. Options for enhanced revenues evaluated in the study include energy, capacity, and reserve market revenues. An initial draft was presented at an ACSF workshop in October 2011. The final draft was produced in December 2011.

Related Publication(s)
Resource Incentives: Valuing Resources in PJM’s Wholesale Markets
Client:
Vermont Public Service Department
Year:
2011

Synapse provided analytical and policy support to the Vermont Department of Public Service in its development of a State Comprehensive Energy Plan. Synapse assisted in the definition of energy future scenarios and analyzed the cost, emissions, and broader economics of these plans. Using Market Analytics, Synapse modeled base and alternative scenarios for energy efficiency targets and renewable procurement, in order to estimate the changes in wholesale electricity costs. Working with VT DPS, and using the REMI model, Synapse then modeled the economic impacts (in terms of jobs, real disposable income, and GSP) of these cost changes, and of the associated investments. Synapse also provided support for the development and presentation of the final plan.

Related Publication(s)
Electricity Scenario Analysis for the Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan 2011
Client:
Conservation Law Foundation
Year:
2011

Synapse provided expert testimony on the proposed long-term power purchase contract.

Related Publication(s)
Testimony Regarding a Proposed Hydro Quebec U.S. Power Purchase Contract
Client:
Natural Resources Defense Council
Year:
2011, 2010

Synapse developed a competitive mechanism for the purchase of water efficiency resources in the Metropolitan Water District service territory of southern California. The project entailed writing a report for NRDC that described the competitive mechanism and how it would function. Synapse also provided explanations for the mechanism to various stakeholder groups, soliciting feedback, and modifying the recommendations.

Client:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Year:
2011

For this project, Synapse reviewed wholesale market opportunities and recent revenues for demand response in ISO-New England, PJM, SPP, and MISO, with a particular focus on rules and revenues for backup generation. Project completed in August 2011.

Client:
N/A
Year:
2011

Tim Woolf presented “Why Consumer Advocates Should Support Decoupling” at the 2011 ACEEE National Conference on Energy Efficiency as a Resource on September 27, 2011.

Related Publication(s)
Why Consumer Advocates Should Support Decoupling
Client:
Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana
Year:
2010

This project entailed an analysis of the effect of the Commission Order of December 9, 2009 in Cause 42693 on the August 15, 2008 settlement agreement between the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) and Duke Energy Indiana. 

Related Publication(s)
Testimony in the Matter of Duke Energy Indiana’s Energy Efficiency, Demand Response, and Demand-Side Management Programs
Client:
N/A
Year:
2010

Ezra Hausman presented “Addressing Climate Change While Protecting Consumers” at the NASUCA Annual Meeting on November 16, 2010. The presentation gives an overview of the impacts of global climate change and discusses options for regulatory/market innovations to reduce the impacts, including a new idea for pricing carbon and supporting low-carbon resources.

Related Publication(s)
Addressing Climate Change While Protecting Consumers
Client:
Maryland Office of the People’s Counsel
Year:
2010

Synapse assisted the Maryland Office of People’s Counsel by reviewing filings regarding Baltimore Gas & Electric’s pilot AMI program, including the program design and choice, accelerated DSM implementation, technology options, cost-benefit analysis, cost recovery mechanisms and the level of sufficient recovery, and alternatives to the program.  Synapse also conducted a similar review of filings by PEPCO and Delmarva to take actions similar to BGE.

Client:
Alaska Attorney General
Year:
2010

Synapse analyzed cost allocation and rate design issues for the Alaska state Attorney General.

Related Publication(s)
Testimony Regarding Rate Design Revision by Enstar Natural Gas Company
Client:
Maryland Office of the People’s Counsel
Year:
2010

Synapse was hired to review issues with the acquisition of Constellation Energy Group (including Baltimore Gas and Electric Company) by Electricite de France. Our analysis focused on risks and financial impacts associated with the Calvert Cliffs nuclear station.

Client:
New York State Attorney General
Year:
2010

Synapse provided an analysis of the benefits and methodology associated with the Department of Energy’s value for carbon dioxide in its proposed appliance standard. In addition, Synapse provided recommendations on an alternative valuation of carbon dioxide based on the long-term marginal abatement cost of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Related Publication(s)
Incorporating Carbon Dioxide Emissions Reductions in Benefit Calculations for Energy Efficiency: Comments on the Department of Energy’s Methodology for Analysis of the Proposed Lighting Standard
Client:
Pollution Probe
Year:
2010

The project reviewed, critiqued and provided expert testimony on distributed generation and demand response aspects of Ontario Power Authority’s proposed “Integrated Power System Plan.”

Client:
New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel
Year:
2010

Synapse analyzed two proposed Smart Grid Pilot Projects filed by Rockland Electric Company (RECO) that were awarded Department of Energy Smart Grid Grants. One proposed project would be to install automated distribution equipment in two substations within the RECO service territory. Another proposed project would incorporate distributable back-up battery storage technologies into existing solar photovoltaic systems installed within the RECO service territory. Although both projects were awarded federal stimulus funding that would defray 50% of approved costs, Synapse recommended that the battery storage system pilot project be funded through New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program since the results would benefit all New Jersey ratepayers, not just RECO ratepayers. 

Client:
Southern Environmental Law Center, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Appalachian Voices, Sierra Club
Year:
2010

On behalf of the Southern Environmental Law Center, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Appalachian Voices, and the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club, Synapse provided expert testimony regarding the 2009 integrated resource plan filed by the Appalachian Power Company. 

Related Publication(s)
Testimony Regarding the 2009 Integrated Resource Plan Filed by the Appalachian Power Company
Client:
New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel
Year:
2010

Multi-Employer Property Trust (MEPT) Journal Square Urban Renewal applied to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities for a ruling to enable it to submeter and charge tenants in its new project for electricity, in lieu of utility submetering. The proposal was tied to a plan to use in-house fuel cells to generate electricity. This project evaluated the application from the viewpoints of energy conservation and consumer protection.

Client:
Energy Foundation
Year:
2010

On behalf of the Energy Foundation, Synapse prepared analysis of and reported on consumer impacts of federal climate legislation with and without supplemental investments in energy efficiency, by state, for the contiguous United States. Although the analysis was based on H.R. 2454 passed by Congress in 2009, the analytical approach and conclusions apply generally to cap-and-trade regulation.

Client:
Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board
Year:
2010

Synapse was retained to collaborate with Nova Scotia Power on an update to its Integrated Resource Planning process. The planning was done subject to a hard cap on system carbon dioxide emissions, and other constraints. The resulting reference plan included aggressive development of wind and biomass, and rapid ramp-up of energy efficiency programs.

Client:
U.S. Department of Justice
Year:
2010

Synapse prepared expert reports on the planning and modeling conducted by defendants in a series of lawsuits involving the New Source Review provisions of the Clean Air Act. This work has included a review of the Companies’ application of the PROMOD and PROSYM models and the development of PROSYM model runs to analyze the relationships between power plant availability, generation, and emissions.

Client:
N/A
Year:
2010

Jeremy Fisher presented “Consumers at the Water/Energy Nexus” at the NASUCA Annual Conference on November 16, 2010. The presentation focuses on how to protect electricity and water consumers in a water-constrained world with measures such as requiring long-term water resource planning, pricing water by its social value for planning purposes (not by the utility’s contractual cost or a price of $0), and stress testing cross-sectoral plans by investigating how operations and consumer welfare will be affected under low water, high temperature conditions.

Related Publication(s)
Consumers at the Water/Energy Nexus
Client:
Maryland Office of the People’s Counsel
Year:
2010

Synapse provided an explanation of why the IEE Whitepaper conclusions are not directly applicable to the varying situations of different utilities and different jurisdictions throughout the country.

Related Publication(s)
The Impact of Dynamic Pricing on Low-Income Customers: An Analysis of the IEE Whitepaper
Client:
Southern Environmental Law Center
Year:
2010

On behalf of the Southern Environmental Law Center, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Appalachian Voices, and the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club, Synapse provided expert testimony regarding the integrated resource plan filed by Dominion. 

Client:
Arkansas Public Service Commission
Year:
2010

In 2010, Synapse developed a draft rule for the Arkansas Public Service Commission Staff specifying demand-side management reporting requirements. The reporting requirements were developed to:

  1. Enable the Commission and stakeholders to assess programs;
  2. Standardize reporting data across utilities;
  3. Clarify definitions; 
  4. Ensure that utility DSM programs are comprehensive, thorough, cost-effective, and adhere to best practices; 
  5. Enable a concise overview of resource allocation, savings, and trends in those items in order to further Commission and public understanding of demand-side management programs; and
  6. Maximize progress towards least-cost utility service via comprehensive acquisition of all cost-effective demand-side management resources.
Client:
N/A
Year:
2010

William Steinhurst presented “Electricity Trends in Pennsylvania” to the Central Susquehanna Citizen’s Coalition on April 1, 2010. The presentation gives an overview of PJM and covers expiration of generation supply rate caps and electricity choice, net metering and feed-in tariffs for residential renewable generation, and Pennsylvania policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation.

Related Publication(s)
Electricity Trends in Pennsylvania

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