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Client:
N/A
Year:
2007

David Schlissel presented “The Risks of Building New Nuclear Power Plants” before the Utah State Legislature Public Utilities and Technology Committee on September 19, 2007. The presentation covers the historical costs of nuclear construction; factors behind rising power plant construction costs; the economics of new nuclear units; and additional risks for plant owners and investors.

Related Publication(s)
The Risks of Building New Nuclear Power Plants
Client:
Town of Jay, Maine
Year:
2007

Assisted the valuation consultant retained by the Town of Jay by analyzing the expectations regarding the gas-fired cogeneration facility project's long-term annual revenues and operating costs for two set points in time.

Related Publication(s)
Projected Revenues and Operating Costs of Androscoggin Energy Center as of April 2004 and April 2005
Client:
Rhode Island Greenhouse Gas Working Group
Year:
2007

In collaboration with Raab Associates, Synapse provided a summary overview of the background and context for implementation of the Least Cost Electricity Procurement in Rhode Island and an outline of the major issues associated with its implementation. 

Related Publication(s)
White Paper on Least Cost Electricity Procurement in Rhode Island
Client:
Ohio Office of Consumers’ Counsel
Year:
2007

Synapse provided the Ohio Office of the Consumer Counsel and other consumer advocates with assistance in evaluating PJM's proposed Reliability Pricing Model (RPM) for capacity markets. Synapse reviewed, proposed modifications, and intervened in a contested process at FERC to determine the final design of the RPM capacity market. Our efforts helped secure modifications to the model that will save state ratepayers in PJM hundreds of millions of dollars annually. In addition, Synapse assisted the Office with transmission planning for economic and reliability upgrades (including cost allocation).

Client:
Office of the People's Counsel for the District of Columbia
Year:
2007

Synapse provided the Office of the People's Counsel with assistance in evaluating PJM's proposed Reliability Pricing Model (RPM) for capacity markets. On behalf of DC OPC and other consumer advocates in the PJM wholesale power system, Synapse reviewed, proposed modifications, and intervened in a contested process at FERC to determine the final design of the RPM capacity market. Synapse provided assistance to DC OPC in all phases of the review, comments, technical conferences, and settlement processes, and our efforts helped secure modifications to the model that will save state ratepayers in PJM hundreds of millions of dollars annually. In addition, Synapse assisted the Office with transmission planning for economic and reliability upgrades (including cost allocation).

Client:
Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board
Year:
2006

Synapse was retained to analyze and critique NSPI's application for an air emissions strategy to meet Provincial emission compliance regulations. Our focus was upon the alternatives and methodology used by NSPI to determine its preferred option for SO2 and NOX reduction. We reviewed the Company's STRATEGIST model runs. 

Related Publication(s)
Direct Testimony Regarding the Review of NSPI Emissions Compliance Plan
Supplemental Evidence Regarding the Review of NSPI Emissions Compliance Plan
Client:
Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana
Year:
2006

Synapse reviewed SIGECO's (Vectren's) environmental compliance plan and prepared testimony addressing system planning, the proper role of demand-side management and renewables in compliance planning, and the need to anticipate climate policy and carbon prices. Synapse's analysis and recommendations are presented in the testimony of Bruce Biewald in Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission Cause No. 42861.

Client:
Utility Consumers’ Action Network
Year:
2006

Synapse evaluated the potential for developing better alternatives for moving electricity produced by renewable technologies from the San Diego County/Imperial County/Baja region into San Diego than the new 500 kV transmission line proposed by San Diego Gas & Electric.

Client:
Missouri Office of Public Counsel
Year:
2006

Synapse evaluated the fairness of Empire Electric’s proposed rate treatment of off-system sales and consideration of a fuel clause adjustment.  Synapse critiqued Empire’s modeling of fuel costs and projections of natural gas prices as part of a proceeding before the Missouri Public Service Commission and supported expert testimony before that commission. Project completed in November 2006.

Client:
Missouri Office of Public Counsel
Year:
2006

Synapse evaluated the fairness of Kansas City Power and Light’s proposed rate treatment of off-system sales.  KCPL proposed an unorthodox accounting treatment allocating “margins” or profit with an “Unused Energy” allocator. Synapse provided support for expert testimony before the Missouri Public Service Commission. Project completed in November 2006.

Client:
Residential Utility Consumer Office of Arizona
Year:
2006

Synapse investigated a number of issues in a rate case: 1) whether Arizona Public Service’s (APS) acquisition of the Sundance Generating Station was prudent; 2) whether the amounts that APS requested for Operating & Maintenance expenditures (“O&M”) for the PWEC Units and the Sundance Plant were reasonable; and 3) the generation and associated costs included in APS’ base rate application. Synapse found that APS’ acquisition of the Sundance Plant was reasonable and prudent. However, we found that the Company’s requested power plant O&M was unreasonably high and should be reduced for both plants. Project completed in February 2006.

Related Publication(s)
Direct Testimony of David Schlissel Regarding the Audit of the Fuel and Purchase Power Practices of the Arizona Public Service Company
Direct Testimony of Rick Hornby Regarding the Audit of the Fuel and Purchase Power Practices of the Arizona Public Service Company
Surrebuttal Testimony of David Schlissel Regarding the Audit of the Fuel and Purchase Power Practices of the Arizona Public Service Company
Surrebuttal Testimony of Rick Hornby Regarding the Audit of the Fuel and Purchase Power Practices of the Arizona Public Service Company
Client:
Utility Consumers’ Action Network
Year:
2006

Synapse evaluated the potential benefits and costs associated with the deployment of Broadband Over Power lines (BPL) in a utility’s service territory. The potential benefits of BPL include the ability to use the existing power lines and the wiring inside homes and other buildings to offer enhanced energy services and load control, to facilitate the use of distributed generation, for automatic meter reading, to provide internet and other informational services to customers, and for increased system monitoring and outage detection. Project completed in March 2006.

Client:
Connecticut Fund for the Environment
Year:
2006

Synapse was asked to evaluate alternatives to the Broadwater LNG import facility, proposed as a floating storage and regasification facility to be located in Long Island Sound. Synapse concluded that the region does not have a pressing need for a new baseload resource to provide natural gas, and the region's energy needs for the next decade can readily be met through energy efficiency, implementation of existing renewable energy goals, expanded use of combined heat and power, and repowering of existing power plants. Finally, we found that there are other options for increasing gas supply to the region which would be far preferable to the Broadwater proposal. The most promising of these includes two LNG import facilities already under construction in Eastern Canada, together with the planned expansion of the Maritimes and Northeast pipeline from Eastern Canada into the northeastern United States. Project completed in February 2006.

Related Publication(s)
The Proposed Broadwater LNG Import Terminal: An Analysis and Assessment of Alternatives
Client:
The Utility Reform Network
Year:
2006

Synapse evaluated the reasonable costs of decommissioning the Diablo Canyon, San Onofre, and Palo Verde nuclear power plants.  Synapse recommended significant reductions in the annual decommissioning costs that needed to be collected from ratepayers. The case was settled with the companies agreeing to substantially reduce their requested annual decommissioning cost collections.  Project completed in May 2006.

Related Publication(s)
Decommissioning Costs of Nuclear Power Plants in California
Client:
Cape Light Compact
Year:
2006

Synapse provided technical and managerial support to the Cape Light Compact as part of the Compact’s investigation of cooperative business models that may assist the Compact in furthering its goals. Project completed in November 2006.

Client:
N/A
Year:
2007, 2006

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.

Related Publication(s)
Climate Change and Power: Carbon Dioxide Emissions Costs and Electricity Resource Planning
Client:
Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate
Year:
2006

After a Technical Conference in February 2006 on PJM capacity market and reliability issues, FERC provided a comment period for parties to make supplemental statements. Synapse assisted a broad coalition of PJM Members (Coalition of Consumers for Reliability, CCR) in developing Comments. Synapse also provided an affidavit from Ezra Hausman that described concerns with PJM's process for establishing the "cost of new entry" (CONE) for a typical peaking unit. This specific project is part of a larger on-going effort that assists the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate with PJM wholesale market and bulk power transmission system issues. These Comments were filed in FERC Dockets ER05-1410-000 and EL05-148-000. Project completed in June 2006.

Related Publication(s)
Capacity Revenues for Existing, Base Load Generation in the PJM Interconnection
RPM 2006: Windfall Profits for Existing Base Load Units in PJM
Affidavit of Ezra Hausman for FERC Technical Conference on RPM
Post-Technical Conference Comments on FERC Technical Conference on RPM
Pre-Conference Comments on FERC Technical Conference on Proposed Variable Resource Requirement (VRR) Curve in PJM
Post-Technical Comments on FERC Technical Conference on Proposed Variable Resource Requirement (VRR) Curve in PJM
Client:
Connecticut Office of Consumer Counsel
Year:
2006

Synapse reviewed the gas supply strategy and proposed rate recovery of Connecticut Natural Gas. Project completed in December 2006.

Related Publication(s)
Connecticut Natural Gas Rate Case
Client:
Eastern Research Group, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Year:
2006

Synapse was asked by the United States EPA to develop content for the EPA's Clean Energy Website on the calculation and evaluation of displaced pollutant emissions resulting from energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives.  The website content includes a description of several approaches that could be used to calculate displaced emissions, as well as descriptions of their applicability, resource requirements, and precision.  The product is to be available as a "decision support" tool for anyone involved in energy efficiency or renewable energy projects to help them assess the emissions benefits of their efforts.  Project completed in April 2006.

Client:
enXco
Year:
2006

Synapse was asked to provide prefiled testimony in a 248 proceeding (Certificate of Public Need) on behalf of a private sector wind developer, outlining the economic and environmental benefits of a proposed wind farm in Deerfield, Vermont. Synapse evaluated the need for new energy resources in Vermont, the demand for renewable energy to fulfill state Renewable Portfolio Standards in the region, and the economic benefits of clean energy and displaced emissions. In addition, Synapse projected project costs and revenues to demonstrate the economic viability of the proposal. Project completed in March 2006.

Client:
Catamount Energy
Year:
2006

Synapse was asked to provide prefiled testimony in a 248 proceeding (Certificate of Public Need) on behalf of Catamount Energy, Inc., outlining the economic and environmental benefits of a proposed wind farm in Glebe Mountain, Vermont. Synapse evaluated the need for new energy resources in Vermont, the demand for renewable energy to fulfill state Renewable Portfolio Standards in the region, and the economic benefits of clean energy and displaced emissions. In addition, Synapse evaluated how the proposed project conformed to the Vermont Electric Plan. Project completed in April 2006.

Client:
Larkin & Associates, Arkansas Public Service Commission
Year:
2006

Synapse was retained to assist the Arkansas Public Service Commission Staff on issues related to electric policy initiatives on both a state and regional level. Specific tasks included a review of the proposed purchase of a merchant generation facility by the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation; a review of the Southwest Power Pool’s application to be named the regional transmission provider; and an analysis of regional energy planning processes. Project completed in May 2006.

Related Publication(s)
Direct Testimony Regarding Review of Wrightsville Facility Purchase
Surrebuttal Testimony Regarding Review of Wrightsville Facility Purchase
Client:
N/A
Year:
2006

Bruce Biewald presented “Electricity Price Increases: Causes, Effects, and Solutions” at the Restructuring Roundtable on May 19, 2006. The presentation focused on the electricity price increases for small customers in New England.

Related Publication(s)
Electricity Price Increases: Causes, Effects, and Solutions
Client:
Illinois Citizens Utility Board, City of Chicago, Cook County State's Attorney's Office
Year:
2006

Synapse advised clients in Illinois on alternatives for procuring power to serve default customers after the “transition period” provided for in the State’s restructuring law.  Synapse presented testimony addressing a proposal by Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) to use a clearing price auction to procure wholesale power for default customers.

We evaluated the Company's proposal, examining issues of market power in the wholesale electricity markets, market power in retail provision of electricity, acquisition of generation supply, and the management of a resource portfolio to provide bundled generation service to residential and small commercial customers. 

We found that, while offering hypothetical benefits to customers, overall the proposal was too narrowly tailored, failed to provide necessary consumer protections, and cut off Commission review of a broad range of options that should be considered as Illinois emerges from the transition period. 

Additionally, Synapse proposed alternatives for how the proposed auction process could be improved, should the Commission decide to authorize a similar mechanism to that proposed by ComEd. Testimony was presented before the Illinois Commerce Commission by witnesses Fagan and Steinhurst in docket 05-0159. Project completed in August 2006.

Related Publication(s)
Illinois Post-2006 Procurement Process: How to Serve Bundled Utility Service Customers ‒ Presentation
Illinois Post-2006 Procurement Process: How to Serve Bundled Utility Service Customers ‒ Paper
Direct Testimony of William Steinhurst Evaluating Electricity Procurement for Serving Retail Load in Illinois
Direct Testimony of Robert Fagan Evaluating Electricity Procurement for Serving Retail Load in Illinois
Rebuttal Testimony of William Steinhurst Evaluating Electricity Procurement for Serving Retail Load in Illinois
Rebuttal Testimony of Robert Fagan Evaluating Electricity Procurement for Serving Retail Load in Illinois
Rebuttal Testimony Exhibits of Robert Fagan Evaluating Electricity Procurement for Serving Retail Load in Illinois
Client:
N/A
Year:
2006

Rick Hornby, Ezra Hausman, and Anna Sommer presented “Electricity Supply Prices in Deregulated Markets – The Problem and Potential Responses” at the NASUCA Mid-Year Meeting on June 13, 2006.

Related Publication(s)
Electricity Supply Prices in Deregulated Markets – The Problem and Potential Responses
Client:
Nevada Bureau of Consumer Protection
Year:
2006

Synapse participated in a collaborative process to develop energy efficiency programs for Nevada Power Company and Sierra Pacific Power Company.  The work included developing policies to support utility energy efficiency programs, developing mechanisms to account for the environmental and economic benefits of energy efficiency, and designing energy efficiency programs with an emphasis on low-income programs. Project completed in August 2006.

Related Publication(s)
Direct Testimony Regarding the Sierra Pacific Power Company Gas Demand-Side Management Plan
Client:
N/A
Year:
2006

Bruce Biewald presented “Energy Portfolio Management Tools and Resources for Regulators” at the NARUC Annual Convention in Miami, Florida on November 15, 2006. The presentation draws from Synapse’s 2006 report Energy Portfolio Management: Tools and Resources for State Public Utility Commissions, prepared for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), the Energy Foundation, the Department of Energy, and NYSERDA. The report describes portfolio management; data, models, and tools for portfolio management; expertise and staffing for managers and regulators; next steps for regulators; and portfolio management activities in selected states.

Related Publication(s)
Energy Portfolio Management Tools and Resources for Regulators
Client:
Northern Forest Center
Year:
2006

Synapse prepared a high level thought paper, presenting the important issues and trends in the energy sector in the Northern Forest Region, a 34 county area stretching from Oswego, NY, across northern Vermont and New Hampshire, to eastern coastal Maine. The paper was written to be thought provoking, to raise critical issues and opportunities that will frame stakeholder dialogue, further analytical study and decision-making for the next phases in the development of the economic adjustment strategy, and to identify and choose among sustainable development options and recommendations in the Northern Forest region. It introduced the important issues, trends, priorities and realities of the energy sector in the 34-county region and set them in context with energy issues and trends from relevant regions elsewhere in the nation. The paper was future oriented, synthesizing key issues and concepts drawn from data and the conclusions of previous analytical work, including detailed economic modeling studies previously conducted by Synapse to measure employment and air pollution impacts of regional strategies for renewable energy and energy efficiency. Project completed in May 2006.

Related Publication(s)
Energy in the Northern Forest Region: A Situation Analysis
Client:
Office of the People's Counsel for the District of Columbia
Year:
2006

Synapse assisted Office of the People's Counsel for the District of Columbia Staff in the development of positions on various issues in EPAct 2005. Project completed September 2006.

Client:
Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana
Year:
2006

Synapse evaluated the purchases and sales transactions of Public Service of Indiana; in particular, the treatment of those transactions under the "Joint Generation and Dispatch Agreement" under which the Cinergy system operated until April 2005.  The results of an initial evaluation were presented in a “verified statement” of Bruce Biewald filed with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission in Cause No. 42359.  Subsequently, more in-depth evaluations were conducted and those results were presented in the testimonies of Robert Fagan filed with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission in Cause Nos. 41954, 42895, and 38707 FAC 61S1.  Project completed in February 2006.

Related Publication(s)
Retrospective and Prospective Evaluation of the Effects on PSI ratepayers of Cinergy’s Joint Generation Dispatch Agreement
Proposed Termination of the Cinergy Operating Agreement

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