On behalf of Citizens Action Coalition in Indiana, Synapse reviewed the Duke Energy Save-A-Watt Energy Efficiency Plan Proposal. The review focused on Duke Energy’s proposed programs and the proposed cost recovery mechanism.
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Supplemental Direct Testimony Regarding Duke Energy Indiana Save-A-Watt Proposal
Synapse produced memos for interested stakeholders about the impact of price responsive demand (PRD) participation as a supply resource in the ISO-New England day-ahead energy market.
Expanded Analysis of PRD Participation in Day-Ahead Energy Market
Synapse was retained by Plains Justice to participate in the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) docket for an IPL energy efficiency case. Synapse reviewed IPL's filings, its annual reports, and its proposed plans to achieve the objectives of IUBs order. Direct and rebuttal testimony were prepared and submitted. Briefings for Iowa agency heads and legislators were planned for the first quarter of 2009.
Surrebuttal Testimony of Chris James Regarding Interstate Power and Light Company Proposed Energy Efficiency Program
This project involved arranging meetings for Union Fenosa with Japanese and Korean organizations that produce energy efficiency products and services (e.g., high efficient heat pump and zero emission house) or are engaged in energy efficiency related programs and policies; and visiting Japanese organizations with the delegates of Union Fenosa and providing them technical and translation help so that they were able to gain and understanding of Japanese energy efficiency products, services, programs and policies. While the main focus was on efficiency, renewable energy and distributed generation technologies were also studied during the tour in Japan.
For Natural Resources Defense Council and the Energy Foundation, Synapse produced a report assessing the Michigan Public Service Commission's "2007 21st Century Electric Plan." Synapse's report, titled "Energy Future: A Green Energy Alternative for Michigan,” concluded that the 21st Century Plan focused too heavily on fossil fuel generation and presented a variety of alternative resources to make for a cleaner and more cost-effective energy future for the state.
Synapse sought to determine the ability of energy efficiency and agriculture offsets to provide greenhouse gas reductions in order to meet goals of S 2191 (Lieberman-Warner Bill).
Synapse provided expert advice on and analysis of energy efficiency and CHP programs offered by New Jersey's Clean Energy Program for the New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel. We reviewed, analyzed, and commented on various energy efficiency-related matters, including the state-administered programs’ monthly performance, designs and budgets, avoided energy supply cost estimates, cost-benefit analyses, energy savings protocols, EM&V studies, and overall administrative structure. We also periodically reviewed and commented on New Jersey Energy Master Plans, and on a three-year energy efficiency program plan called the Comprehensive Resource Analyses.
Synapse produced a report assessing the economics and costs of a future generation of nuclear power plants. The report, titled "Nuclear Loan Guarantees: Another Taxpayer Bailout Ahead?," explores Congress's nuclear loan guarantee program its potential burdens on taxpayers.
Synapse assisted the Ohio OCC in responding to a request for comments issued by the Ohio Commission regarding the benefits of participation in RTOs and, specifically, whether Ohio should join a single RTO (Midwest ISO or PJM) rather than continue to participate in both RTOs. The responses, developed jointly by Synapse and the OH OCC, answered a series of detailed questions posed by the OH Commission. Synapse developed an initial set of responses and then a reply set of responses that addressed the comments field by other parties to the proceeding.
Synapse provided advice to Mass Energy Consumers Alliance, a local non-profit organization that both advocates and acts in the marketplace on behalf of consumers and the environment, regarding their ability to participate in New England's Forward Capacity Market. The FCM is the first capacity market to allow small on-site generation resources to be compensated for the capacity they provide to the regional grid.
Synapse was involved in a three-year effort in coordination with Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, and District of Columbia advocates to monitor RTO activities in PJM. The central focus of the project was on RPM development and also market monitoring, transmission planning, and load forecasts.
Synapse evaluated and issued direct testimony on the costs and risks of proceeding with proposed Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 nuclear power plants in Georgia. The project also entailed reviewing an updated Georgia Power Company's Integrated Resource Plan.
In 2009, the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) retained Marbek Resource Consultants (Marbek) to prepare a report on strategies and conditions which enable aggressive energy efficiency. These strategies and conditions encompass policies, regulatory frameworks and institutional arrangements. Synapse assisted Marbek with its review of these issues in the U.S. Synapse also contributed a whitepaper addressing the major financial incentives of utilities that need to be aligned with aggressive pursuit of energy efficiency. The paper presented the problems that utilities in general have experienced over the years due to mismatches between their financial incentives and the pursuit of energy efficiency, and the general approaches to correcting that problem. The paper also presented an overview of the current financial incentives of Ontario electricity distribution companies relative to the pursuit of energy efficiency, and suggested steps to further improve that alignment.
Synapse modeled the impacts of a range of cap-and-trade allowance allocation scenarios on consumer and generator welfare in regulated and deregulated electricity markets in the United States. The analysis, which represents the early years of a national cap-and-trade program before generation changes or load reductions can be implemented, is unique in its treatment of economic impacts at the generating plant level, and in its focus on consumer impacts at the state and regional levels. The results indicated that cap-and-trade regulation will result in consumer-funded windfall profits for certain generators in deregulated electricity markets, and that any free allowance allocation to merchant generators will increase these windfall profits and the cost to consumers. Results are presented at the RTO and state levels to highlight regional differences in these impacts.
Productive and Unproductive Costs of CO2 Cap-and-Trade: NASUCA Consumer Protection Committee Conference Call
Synapse provided analysis of Public Service Enterprise Group filing for rate recovery of solar photovoltaic investment and provision of testimony addressing Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) treatment.
For this project, Synapse assessed the risks of constructing a new nuclear power plant in Calvert County, Maryland. David Schlissel provided direct testimony before the Public Service Commission of Maryland presenting these risks.
Synapse evaluated the economics of a proposed coal plant in Louisiana. Synapse found that Energy Louisiana 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 Louisiana Public Service Commission approved the plant; however, Sierra Club sought judicial review of that decision.
Synapse provided facilitation, policy, and technical analyses for the Alaska climate change action planning process to develop state policies that will lead to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from the Energy Supply and Residential, Commercial, and Industrial sectors in Alaska. Synapse facilitated one of the Working Groups of the Alaska Climate Change Mitigation Advisory Group (MAG). The Working Group 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 the Working Group, Synapse analyzed and estimated the cost of and potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 through a number of policy mechanisms. For the energy supply sector, these include expanded use of renewable energy including direct heating, improved efficiency of new and existing power plants, and transmission optimization and expansion. For the residential, commercial, and industrial sector, policies included state and utility efficiency programs, appliance standards, and building codes.
Synapse was retained to review aspects of Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) policy and associated state policies, with the aim of implementing consistent and effective policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions at reasonable cost while minimizing "leakage," or electric system policy boundary, problems.
Synapse was directed by the EPA to prepare a report on several aspects of back-up generators (BUGs). These include how BUGs are used in various RTOs around the US; applicable rules and requirements for air permits and operation; the number of BUGs deployed and their potential air quality impacts.
For this project, Synapse reviewed KCPL’s IRP for consistency with law on the supply side for renewable resources. Tom Franks, of Optimal Energy, acted in a subcontractor role and focused on aspects of demand-side management.
Synapse evaluated whether there are supply and demand-side alternatives to the proposed Big Stone II coal-fired generating facility that are technically feasible and economically cost-effective. Synapse also investigated whether the applicants included appropriate emissions control technologies in the design of the proposed facility and whether the applicants appropriately reflected the potential for the regulation of greenhouse gases in the design of the proposed facility and in their analyses of the alternatives. Project completed in September 2006. Follow-up work completed in 2009.
Testimony of Ezra Hausman Regarding the Proposed Big Stone II Coal-Fired Generating Facility
Additional Testimony of David Schlissel and Anna Sommer Regarding the Proposed Big Stone II Coal-Fired Generating Facility
Synapse assisted Western Resource Advocates and its local affiliate, NCARE, in developing a clean energy planning model to show how renewable resources can meet Nevada’s future power needs and produce economic benefits at minimal cost to ratepayers. Synapse developed a clean development model that shows how transmission investments support renewables, along with aggressive development of renewable and energy efficiency potential in the state, can more than meet Nevada’s electricity needs without relying on expensive and CO2-emitting new resources such as a proposed coal plant.
Synapse served as a technical advisor to Division on all DSM activity, mainly through participation in DSM collaborative meetings.
Synapse was retained by Arkansas Public Service Commission staff as a subcontractor to Larkin Associates to provide assistance for a variety of projects related to electric resource planning and power procurement during July 2006 through June 2007. The first project evaluated whether Entergy Arkansas Inc. (EAI)’s proposed acquisition of a combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) capacity was in the public interest. Tasks included the preparation of a background report on fuel diversity policies and practices, and testimony supporting the findings. This work assisted 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).
Synapse also evaluated the economics of a proposed coal plant in southwestern Arkansas. Synapse found that the Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) 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.
Additionally, Synapse reviewed changes to Entergy’s avoided cost methodology, and a proposed scrubber installation on an existing plant. All projects were completed August 2009.
Surrebuttal Testimony on Entergy Arkansas Avoided Cost Computation Methodology
Arkansas Electric Generation Fuel Diversity: Implementation of EPAct 2005 Amendments to PURPA Section 111 (d)
Testimony Addressing the Economic Impact of SWEPCO Proposed Hempstead Project
Phase II (AC) Direct Testimony Regarding Entergy Arkansas Inc. Request for Approval of New Capacity
Phase II (A) Surrebuttal Testimony Regarding Entergy Arkansas Inc. Request for Approval of New Capacity
Phase II (B) Direct Testimony Regarding Entergy Arkansas Inc. Request for Approval of New Capacity
Rachel Wilson presented “The Energy-Water Nexus: Interactions, Challenges, and Policy Solutions” at the National Drinking Water Symposium on October 13, 2009.
Synapse was retained to evaluate whether there are lower cost alternatives to the relicensing of the Indian Point Nuclear Power plants for an additional twenty years of operating life.
Synapse produced a report assessing the risks of the building of a proposed new coal power plant in Washington County, Georgia. The report analyzed construction and CO2 costs and potential alternatives to the plant.
The Risks of Building and Operating Plant Washington
Synapse provided expert witness services to the Vermont Conservation Law Foundation during litigation on new organizational models for the Vermont Efficiency Utility, a leading example in the nation of independent third-party administration of electric energy efficiency programs.
Prefiled Rebuttal Testimony Addressing the Structure of the Vermont State Energy Efficiency Utility
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