Synapse assisted the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA) with its intervention in the case pertaining to Philadelphia Gas Works’ (PGW) first five-year gas demand-side management plan, submitted to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in 2009. Synapse provided the OCA technical support for the collaborative stakeholder processes, including discovery and settlement processes, and prepared testimony in several key areas, including: program designs, program implementation schedules, budget, coordination with other entities, cost-effectiveness, rate and bill impacts, cost recovery, and lost revenue mechanism.
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Synapse prepared a report for EarthJustice examining the need to analyze federal and state public policy mandates in planning processes for the bulk power system.
Synapse and Lanzalotta Associates performed a review and critique the CMP and MPS application for a new 345 kV transmission line in northern Maine.
Synapse provided technical assistance and advice to NEEP in a project that 1) determined how states in the Northeast and Middle Atlantic measure the energy savings from their energy efficiency programs and 2) evaluated how these energy savings are in turn converted into displaced emissions that air regulators can consider as part of their air quality plans. Project completed in 2010.
For this project, Synapse reviewed company filings and identified electric reliability and infrastructure related issues in the support of legal briefs that were filed as part the Company’s base rate case.
Synapse reviewed the Title V air quality permit for the PSNH Merrimack power plant and developed comments for submission to the New Hampshire DES. The comments provided recommendations to improve the enforceability of the permit; ensured that emissions were appropriately monitored, recorded and reported; and that the anticipated emissions reductions would occur.
Alaska Energy Authority hired Black and Veatch (B&V) to develop an IRP for the Railbelt region of Alaska. This is the region that covers the area from roughly Fairbanks to Seward and where the bulk of Alaska’s population resides. B&V’s IRP evaluated the resources it believes Alaska will require over the next 50 years to meet its energy demand. Synapse developed comments for the client that included an assessment of generation technologies (including renewables), their costs and benefits, transmission and reliability requirements, and what Alaska should consider in its resource planning.
Synapse performed a preliminary assessment of Eastern Kentucky Power Cooperative’s 2008 resource planning.
Synapse evaluated the Integrated Resource Plan filing of Delmarva Power and Light. Synapse reviewed the way in which the plan complied or did not comply with state directives on integrated resource planning and provision of default service supply. Synapse also provided advice to the Commission on related issues with Delaware's RFP for new generation to be long-term contracted with Delmarva. The first phase of the project was completed in 2009, and a second phase was completed in 2010.
In conjunction with Lanzalotta & Associates, Synapse performed a review and critique of the CMP application for a 1.5 billion transmission project in Maine, MPRP.
Surrebuttal Testimony In Regard to the Maine Power Reliability Program
Synapse, as a subcontractor to Resource Insight, Inc., provided expert testimony on portfolio management alternatives to the Companies’ proposed declining clock auction for rolling three-year, slice of system contracts.
Synapse provided expert testimony on the IRP submitted to the Virginia PUC by Dominion. Key issues included energy efficiency programs, conservation voltage reduction, and supply portfolios.
Synapse evaluated questions that public utility commissions and stakeholders can ask if they want smart grid investments to improve distribution system efficiency, focusing on conservation voltage reduction and optimizing voltage and var control.
Synapse was hired to assist the Low Income Energy Affordability Network (LEAN) on technical issues in its low-income multi-family program. In particular, we reviewed the existing data format for communicating cost and savings information to program administrators, and the program’s cost-effectiveness methodologies and outputs. We then made recommendations to improve the cost-effectiveness methods as well as transparency, documentation of the overall process, and credibility of the outputs.
Synapse provided expert witness services in a proceeding to review SCE&G’s proposed DSM programs. Topics included cost-benefit testing, inclusion of carbon costs, cost allocation, and DSM services for hard-to-reach customers including limited-income customers.
Kenji Takahashi presented “Review of Utility DG Business Models for New York” at the Northeast CHP Initiative Meeting in New York on April 13, 2010. He presented case studies (Detroit Edison, National Grid, and Austin Energy) and discussed the feasibility of utility owned distributed generation for New York.
Synapse conducted a high level analysis to determine the benefits of using the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) proceeds to fund energy efficiency programs in the ten participating states. With the benefit of one year of auctions, RGGI auctions generated almost $600 million in proceeds with almost half that amount devoted to energy efficiency. Our original analysis, completed in 2010, found that in states with a focus on electricity energy efficiency programs, the benefits range from $2.17 to $3.76 for every dollar of program cost. Some states chose to fund all fuels programs, whereas other states used their proceeds to fund more traditional electric energy efficiency programs. Our analysis focused on the electricity energy efficiency benefits, but recognized that fuel efficiency programs provide substantial benefits. This analysis was updated in 2012, and includes an evaluation of other fuel programs funded through RGGI.
Energy Benefits Resulting from the Investment of 2010 RGGI Auction Revenues in Energy Efficiency
Synapse reviewed company filings and identified electric reliability and infrastructure related issues in the support of legal briefs that were filed as part the Company’s base rate case.
Synapse provided expert witness services for a multi-utility proceeding before the Florida Public Service Commission concerning setting new ten-year goals for utility electric DSM programs. Synapse testimony focused on DSM ratemaking, cost-effectiveness testing, and selected program design issues.
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 a pilot gas rate decoupling mechanism, a Conservation Enabling Rider, proposed by Centerpoint Energy.
Rebuttal Testimony Regarding a Review of a Proposed Conservation Enabling Rider
The Maine Office of Public Advocate retained Synapse to help them evaluate whether it would be in the public interest for Maine to establish a Smart Grid Coordinator pursuant to the Maine Smart Grid Policy Act. The joint testimony filed by Synapse and Martin Roth Cohen and Associates in that proceeding concluded that the concept of establishing a Smart Grid Coordinator for a sub-set of smart grid functions was sufficiently in the public interest to justify moving to Phase II of the proceeding.
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
Rick Hornby presented “Transitions to Smart Grid, a.k.a. Modernizing Distribution Systems: Major Factors Affecting Cost Effectiveness” at the NASUCA Annual Conference on November 16, 2010. The presentation assumes that transitions to “smarter” distribution systems should be considered part of each utility’s normal capital expenditures and poses the question: At what pace, and cost, is it reasonable for U.S. electric utilities to make those investments?
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.
For the Arkansas Public Service Commission, Synapse prepared a whitepaper describing ratemaking mechanisms that U.S. electric utilities have implemented to align their financial incentives with the pursuit of energy efficiency.
Chris James presented “An Integrated Policy Approach to Managing Air Quality and Climate Change” before the Ontario Ministry of Environment on May 12, 2009. He discussed reasons for an integrated planning approach; structural, institutional, and technical challenges; and examples of successful policies.
Synapse performed analyses of proposed decoupling polices and pilot programs.
Synapse posts hundreds of publications for free public download. You can browse all publications (below), or narrow the search results by selecting one or more filters (topic area, client, etc.).