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Dr. Powers has expertise in industrial organization and energy economics.

Since joining Brattle in 2010, he has conducted econometric analysis in several competition-related litigation matters. This includes estimation of damages in two large-scale price-fixing civil cases; estimation of the price effects of competitor entry and exit in geographic markets in the context of a proposed joint venture; and similar econometric work in antitrust matters in the payment card, plastics manufacturing, and transportation industries.

In energy matters, he has conducted several key pieces of analysis of price effects and drafted expert testimony in two separate litigation proceedings arising from the California electricity crisis of 2000-2001. He has also overseen the statistical analyses in several New Source Review cases, helped manage renewable energy procurement processes for multiple Pennsylvania utilities, assisted in quantifying the economic benefits of infrastructure investments in the natural gas distribution system for a mid-Atlantic utility, and helped to advise a mid-sized electric utility on regulatory strategy and alternative regulation options.

In graduate school, his dissertation focused on the environmental and economic effects of pollution disclosure programs, as well as the effectiveness of state-level incentives for renewable energy development. Since joining Brattle, he has also co-authored an article analyzing the competitive effects of airport slot transfers and sales.

Representative Engagements
International price-fixing civil case (ongoing)
We are estimating economic damages in a large international price-fixing case.
California electricity crisis – Summer 2000 period
For the California parties, conducted several key pieces of analysis evaluating effects of tariff violations in the Summer of 2000 on CAISO market prices and drafted portions of expert testimony, in a litigation matter before the FERC arising from the California electricity crisis.
California electricity crisis – 2001 Period
For the California parties, conducted econometric analyses detecting the exercise of market power and price discrimination in the 2001 “CERS” period of the California electricity crisis. This analysis formed the basis of key parts of the testimony of two expert witnesses.
New Source Review cases
Supervised the analysis for three cases in support of testimony relating to alleged New Source Review (NSR) violations at coal-fired power plants. In the most recent case, on behalf of GenOn, the analysis focused on long-run variation in coal plant operations, including analysis of changing market conditions that influenced that variation.
International joint venture/merger analysis
Performed econometric estimates of the price effects resulting from competitor entry and exit in geographic product markets to support expert testimony that assessed anti-competitive effects from a proposed joinint venture.
Publications
Report
Valuation of Electric Power System Services and Technologies
August 2016
Prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability
Report
Electricity Baseline Report for the US Power System
April 2015
Prepared for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Report
Competitive Effects of Exchanges or Sales of Airport Landing Slots
August 01, 2014
Published in the Review of Industrial Organization
Report
Developing a Market Vision for MISO - Supporting a Reliable and Efficient Electricity System in the Midcontinent
January 27, 2014
Prepared for the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO)
Report
Measuring the Impact of the Toxics Release Inventory: Evidence from Manufacturing Plant Births
March 01, 2013
Published by U.S. Census Bureau Center for Economic Studies
Report
Competitive Effects of Exchanges or Sales of Airport Landing Slots
December 2011
James D. Reitzes, Brendan McVeigh, Nicholas E. Powers, and Samuel Moy
Published by The Brattle Group, Inc.
Article
Does Disclosure Reduce Pollution? Evidence from India's Green Rating Project
March 2011
Nicholas E. Powers, Allen Blackman, Thomas P. Lyon, and Urvashi Narain
Published in Environmental and Resource Economics
Article
Do State Renewable Portfolio Standards Promote In-State Renewable Generation?
February 2010
Haitao Yin and Nicholas E. Powers
Published in Energy Policy
News & Events
September 19, 2017
Brattle to Manage Purchase of Solar Photovoltaic Alternative Energy Credits on Behalf of FirstEnergy’s Pennsylvania Utilities

Brattle economists will manage a Request for Proposal (RFP) process to purchase 71,000 Solar Photovoltaic Alternative Energy Certificates (SPAECs) annually over a two-year period on behalf of three of FirstEnergy’s Pennsylvania Utilities, including Pennsylvania Power Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, and Metropolitan Edison Company.

July 15, 2016
Report by Brattle Economists Examines EPA’s Proposed 2017 Renewable Volume Obligations

Brattle economists have authored a report that analyzes the role that higher ethanol blends of gasoline (E85) could play in meeting the proposed 2017 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) program.

July 13, 2015
Yvette Austin Smith and Brattle Team Prevail in DE Chancery Court Valuation Ruling

Brattle principal Yvette Austin Smith recently provided successful valuation testimony in a combined breach of fiduciary duty and appraisal matter before the Delaware Court of Chancery in the case Owen vs. Lynn Cannon et al.

August 31, 2014
Brattle Experts’ Article on Competitive Effects of Sales of Airport Landing Slots Published In Review of Industrial Organization

Brattle economists have recently published an article in the Review of Industrial Organization that examines the competitive impacts of exchanges and sales of airport landing slots.

Personal Interests

Nick is a member of the American Economic Association, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, and Energy Bar Association. He lives in Washington DC with his wife and daughter and is an avid traveler, soccer fan, and music fan.