Areas of Expertise
Electric Resource Planning
Analyzed the economic costs and benefits of energy supply options. Examined the economic and system reliability consequences of the retirement of existing electric generating facilities. Evaluated whether new electric generating facilities are used and useful.
Evaluated the economic and financial risks of investing in, constructing and operating new coal-fired power plants and of making expensive environmental upgrades to existing plants. Examined whether there are lower cost, lower risk alternatives than proposed fossil-fired power plants. Investigated whether plant owners had adequately considered the risks associated with building new fossil-fired power plants, the most significant of which are the likelihood of federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and construction cost increases.
Power Plant Air Emissions
Investigated whether proposed generating facilities would provide environmental benefits in terms of reduced emissions of NOx, SO2 and CO2. Examined whether new state and federal emission standards would lead to the retirement of existing power plants or otherwise have an adverse impact on electric system reliability.
Power Plant Water Use
Examined power plant repowering as a strategy for reducing water consumption at existing electric generating facilities. Analyzed the impact of converting power plants from once-through to closed-loop systems with cooling towers on plant revenues and electric system reliability. Evaluated the potential impact of the EPA's Proosed Clean Water Act Section 316(b) Rule for Cooling Water Intake Structures at existing power plants.
Electric System Reliability
Evaluated whether existing or new generation facilities and transmission lines are needed to ensure adequate levels of system reliability. Investigated the causes of distribution system outages and inadequate service reliability. Examined the reasonableness of utility system reliability expenditure
Power Plant Repowering
Evaluated the environmental, economic and reliability impacts of rebuilding older, inefficient generating facilities with new combined cycle technology.
Power Plant Operations and Economics
Investigated the causes of more than one hundred power plant and system outages, equipment failures, and component degradation, determined whether these problems could have been anticipated and avoided, and assessed liability for repair and replacement costs. Examined power plant operating, maintenance, and capital costs. Evaluated utility plans for and management of the replacement of major power plant components. Assessed the adequacy of power plant quality assurance and maintenance programs. Examined the selection and supervision of contractors and subcontractors.
Reviewed recent cost estimates for proposed nuclear power plants. Examined the impact of the nuclear power plant life extensions and power uprates on decommissioning costs and collections policies. Examined the reasonableness of utility decisions to sell nuclear power assets and evaluated the value received as a result of the auctioning of those plants. Investigated the significance of the increasing ownership of nuclear power plants by multiple tiered holding companies with limited liability company subsidiaries. Investigated the potential safety consequences of nuclear power plant structure, system, and component failures.
Transmission Line Siting
Examined the need for proposed transmission lines. Analyzed whether proposed transmission lines could be installed underground. Worked with clients to develop alternate routings for proposed lines that would have reduced impacts on the environment and communities.
Electric Industry Regulation and Markets
Investigated whether new generating facilities that were built for a deregulated subsidiary should be included in the rate base of a regulated utility. Evaluated the reasonableness of proposed utility power purchase agreements with deregulated affiliates. Investigated the prudence of utility power purchases in deregulated markets. Examined whether generating facilities experienced more outages following the transition to a deregulated wholesale market in New England. Evaluated the reasonableness of nuclear and fossil plant sales, auctions, and power purchase agreements. Analyzed the impact of proposed utility mergers on market power. Assessed the reasonableness of contract provisions and terms in proposed power supply agreements.
Presented the results of management, technical and economic analyses as testimony in more than 100 proceedings before regulatory boards and commissions in 35 states, before two federal regulatory agencies, and in state and federal court proceedings.
Litigation and Regulatory Support
Participated in all aspects of the development and preparation of case presentations on complex management, technical, and economic issues. Assisted in the preparation and conduct of pre-trial discovery and depositions. Helped identify and prepare expert witnesses. Aided the preparation of pre-hearing petitions and motions and post-hearing briefs and appeals. Assisted counsel in preparing for hearings and oral arguments. Advised counsel during settlement negotiations.