Synapse evaluated the economics of the proposed coal plant in Wise County, Virginia. Synapse found that Dominion Virginia Power had not prudently considered the potential for further increases in the cost of building the plant or the costs of likely federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. The Corporation Commission of Virginia approved the plant, but limited recovery to the currently proposed construction costs unless the company proves that future cost increases are prudent.
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In response to the requirements of EPAct 2005 Title XII, the DC Public Service Commission issued Order No.14239, requesting comments regarding whether and to what extent the Commission should implement additional fuel diversity standards specifically for Pepco. Synapse provided advice and written support to the Office of People’s Counsel for its comments in response to the DC Public Service Commission’s request.
Bruce Biewald presented “Air Emissions Issues Associated DER in the Mid-Atlantic Region” before the Mid-Atlantic State Energy and Environment Workshop: State, Local, and Federal Approach for Distributed Energy Resources on September 27, 2007.
Synapse assisted UCS with an assessment of the prospects for additional coal-fired electric power generation in the Midwest to serve demand in the Northeast. This analysis considered transmission constraints, headroom for existing coal units to increase capacity factors, and carbon dioxide emissions cap and trade regulation.
As part of this project, Synapse Senior Associate Bob Fagan testified at FERC on PJM cost allocation mechanism for merchant transmission projects between NJ and NY.
Synapse assisted the Department of Justice in litigation brought by Boston Edison regarding the sale price of the Pilgrim Nuclear Station. Synapse’s testimony addressed the risks faced by the purchaser of a nuclear power plant in 1998.
Project work included reviewing Avista Utilities proposals for funding of low-income programs.
For this project, Synapse reviewed Avista Utilities proposals for funding of low income programs, a power cost only rate case (PCORC) mechanism, changes in its accounting treatment of DSM Program costs, recovery of fixed costs lost to DSM and investments in advanced meters.
At the request of the Union of Concerned Scientists, Synapse collaborated with Bill Moomaw, Director of the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy at Tufts University, to write a report on carbon emissions mitigation options in the Northeast. Synapse reviewed various resource options such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, and load response. The report recommends that carbon emissions could potentially be stabilized with annual emission reductions of 3%.
Synapse advised Tokyo Gas Company, a large natural gas utility in Japan, with regard to the implications of climate change policy on its business opportunities and risks.
Synapse was hired to prepare an expert reports on electric power system issues related to the EPA New Source Review. Bruce Biewald testified in a deposition prior to the settlement of the case. Project completed in July 2007.
This report is designed to assist utilities, regulators, consumer advocates and others in projecting the future cost of complying with carbon dioxide regulations in the United States. These cost forecasts are necessary for use in long-term electricity resource planning, in electricity resource economics, and in utility risk management.
For this project, Synapse reviewed a ISO-NE Scenario Analysis report and developed a Companion Report that evaluated two additional scenarios for greater EE, DR, renewables, and reduced carbon resources.
Doug Hurley presented “Composite Offers in the FCM” at the Demand Resource Summit on May 2, 2007.
For this project, Synapse analyzed issues associated with proposals to decouple annual revenues of electric distribution utilities from their annual kWh deliveries.
Reply Comments Regarding Rate Structures that will Promote Efficient Deployment of Demand Resources in Massachusetts (D.P.U. 07-50)
Synapse provided consulting and advice to the Conservation Law Foundation in support of development of a regional approach to decoupling.
Paul Peterson and Doug Hurley presented “Demand Resources in the New England Forward Capacity Market” at the ACEEE/CEE Market Transformation Symposium on March 21, 2007. Topics covered include background to the New England Forward Capacity Market (FCM), treatment of demand resources in the FCM and the Installed Capacity Requirement (ICR), and potential impacts of demand resources in the FCM.
Synapse represented the staff of the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate in the demand-side management (DSM) and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) workgroup. We reviewed various aspects of DSM and AMI initiatives, prepared documents on good practices in these areas, recommended specific programs from other states, and participated in the workgroup.
Synapse was asked to assist with the coordination and documentation of a conference of experts on the calculation of carbon emissions displacement held in April 2007. Specific tasks included development of the meeting agenda, documenting the workshop proceedings and preparation of a draft workshop report, solicitation and coordination of participant input on the report, and preparation of a final workshop report. Synapse’s experts on displaced emissions calculation were also participants in the conference. The final report was completed in June 2007.
Synapse was hired by a coalition of public interest organizations to review the proposal by Duke Energy Indiana and Vectren to invest approximately $2 billion in a new integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) coal power plant at Edwardsport. The project included analysis and testimony by Bruce Biewald on computer modeling and resource planning, levelized cost comparisons, and ratemaking issues; by Phil Mosenthal of Optimal Energy on demand-side management potential and costs; Robert Fagan on renewable resource potential and costs; and David Schlissel on carbon dioxide regulations and power plant construction costs. The project team found that the Companies' planning for Edwardsport was inadequate, that the IGCC plant would increase dependence upon coal for electricity generation and would subject the Companies’ shareholders and customers to unnecessary costs and increased risks. Synapse witnesses recommended that the Commission reject the Companies’ request for approval of the proposal to construct and own the Edwardsport IGCC project, and instead require the Companies to do complete and proper planning which should include: (1) up-to-date construction cost estimates for IGCC and other resources; (2) analysis of the cost impacts on customers that reflect the ratemaking treatment that the Companies’ request be used for the resources; (3) use of a realistic range of low, mid, and high case projections for future carbon dioxide prices; (4) full consideration of cost-effective demand-side management, combined heat and power, and renewable resources, and (5) a proper risk analysis that recognizes a range of risks including but not limited to construction cost overruns and project delays as well as fuel prices and environmental compliance requirements.
Direct Testimony of Robert Fagan Reviewing the IGCC Plant Proposal by Duke Energy Indiana and Vectren
Exhibits of Robert Fagan for the Review of the IGCC Plant Proposal by Duke Energy Indiana and Vectren
Direct Testimony of David Schlissel Reviewing the IGCC Plant Proposal by Duke Energy Indiana and Vectren
Cross Answering Testimony of Bruce Biewald Reviewing the IGCC Plant Proposal by Duke Energy Indiana and Vectren
Bruce Biewald presented “Efficiency and Renewable Energy for Carbon Constrained Electric Systems” at the 2007 NASUCA Annual Meeting in Anaheim, California on November 12, 2007. The presentation covered efficiency and renewable energy issues for consumer advocates, including climate change and carbon policy, utility system planning implications, energy efficiency programs and policies, and wind power.
Assist Staff of the Arkansas Public Service Commission as a subcontractor to Larkin Associates on a range of electric resource planning and power procurement issues over the year July 2006 through June 2007. Specific tasks included assistance with development of resource planning guidelines for electric utilities, testimony regarding the reasonableness of the proposal by Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company to acquire additional wind and gas-fired generating capacity, preparation of a background report on fuel diversity policies and practices to assist the Commission in its determination of whether to recommend the adoption of a fuel diversity standard under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005). Advice to Staff in their assessment of SWEPCo’s proposal to construct a new coal-fired generating unit.
Synapse provided updated computations based on a previous study done for this client to reflect new values in a proposed rate increase.
For this project, Synapse contributed to the estimation of energy price and environmental benefits of distributed generation (DG) and analysis of business and regulatory options to encourage DG.
Synapse provided estimates of impacts of carbon regulation on prices of electricity in specific jurisdictions in the United States and Canada.
Synapse evaluated Puget Sound Energy’s proposed purchased power costs.
In August 2007, Governor Crist of Florida appointed the Florida Governor’s Action Team on Energy and Climate Change. Environmental Defense is a member of the Action Team that will be developing Florida’s Energy and Climate Change Action Plan. Synapse assisted Environmental Defense in evaluating energy supply and energy efficiency policies that will be discussed by the Action Team during the first phase of this process. Synapse also assisted Environmental Defense identify strategies to help the state achieve its greenhouse gas reduction goals.
Synapse facilitated two Working Groups of the Colorado Climate Action Panel (CAP) to develop state policies that will lead to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from the Energy Supply (ES) and Residential, Commercial, and Industrial (RCI) sectors in Colorado. The Working Groups included representatives from state and local governments, utilities, businesses, the building and green energy sectors, environmental groups, and the research community.
In addition to facilitating these Working Groups in the development of state policy proposals, Synapse analyzed the cost of and potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions through a number of policy mechanisms. For the energy supply sector, these include expanded use of renewable energy, recapture of waste energy, improved efficiency of new and existing power plants, and reduction of natural gas leakage. The workgroup also identified opportunities for the use of distributed renewable resources at customer sites, exploitation of small hydropower resources and other small renewables, and considered adoption of a carbon price. For the residential, commercial, and industrial sector, policies included expanded demand-side management, improved building codes and enforcement, combined heat & power, and other energy efficiency measures.
The workgroup identified a total of 15 policies for the energy supply sector and 11 policies for the residential, commercial, and industrial sector that offer the potential for significant greenhouse gas reductions in the state.
Synapse surveyed how electric and gas companies in North America are developing strategies to address risks associated with greenhouse gas emission regulation and other climate change impacts.
Over the coming decades, global climate change is expected to cause changes to electric system loads and power infrastructure viability and operation. During this project, Synapse estimated that in the business as usual scenario, expected changes in temperature (9 degrees Fahrenheit increase over the next century) would result in electric system demand increases by 0.3 percentage points faster than would otherwise occur. We also found that expected sea level rises would submerge most of the generating capacity in the state of Florida, as many of these facilities are to located on the coast.
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