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Resource Planning

The Brattle Group has extensive experience helping electricity industry participants understand the risks and opportunities surrounding their critical business decisions in a rapidly evolving market. We regularly analyze major investments, construct resource plans, and evaluate the implications of public policies.

Our consultants bring a broad perspective to these problems grounded in knowledge of electricity market fundamentals and regulations, enabling us to frame the most important issues to analyze in order to most effectively and efficiently inform the decision. Our skill set in electricity market analysis is unparalleled. We are experts in financial modeling, option pricing, decision analysis, and risk management, and market analysis and forecasting.

Areas of Expertise

Engagements
REPRESENTATIVE ENGAGEMENTS

Below is a list of representative engagements for our Resource Planning practice.

Benefits and cost analysis of implementing a Western U.S.-wide energy market

In 2016, Brattle experts led a team of multiple consulting companies to help California ISO evaluate ISO regionalization and transitioning the Western Interconnection into a locational marginal cost-based full “Day-2” energy market with centralized optimized day-ahead unit commitment and real-time dispatch. Our role included using PSO to develop West-wide nodal production cost simulations for 2020 through 2030 to assess impacts on ratepayers, emissions, grid operations, and the ability to integrate large amounts of variable renewable generation across the region. We also analyzed the findings of other regional markets that have gone through similar transitions, reviewing two dozen ex-post and ex-ante studies of the costs and benefits of regionalization, transitioning from zonal to nodal market design, and migrating from a real-time imbalance market to a full day-ahead market with optimized unit commitments and ancillary services markets. Our work culminated in a public report and several presentations to stakeholder groups across the West and in California. It provided the analytical foundation for active ongoing multi-state discussions about ISO regionalization.

Integrated resource planning in Connecticut

Members of The Brattle Group have led the analysis of five successive Integrated Resource Plans (IRPs) for the two major utilities in Connecticut and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). These projects relied on an integrated modeling system that simulated the New England locational energy market (with DAYZER), the Forward Capacity Market, REC markets, and competitive suppliers’ likely investment/retirement decisions. The studies addressed electricity supply risks, natural gas supply into New England, RPS standards, environmental regulations, transmission planning, emerging technologies, and energy security. Brattle experts provided oral testimony before the DEEP and solicited input from stakeholders.

Long-term evolution of the generation fleet in Texas

Between 2012 and 2016, Brattle developed a series of four reports for the Texas Clean Energy Coalition (TCEC) analyzing how renewable and natural gas-fired electricity sources might interact in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) during the next two decades. Our analysis considered a range of market and regulatory factors including future natural gas prices and greater deployment storage and combined heat and power (CHP). These reports utilized a combination of PSO and Xpand models to capture the interaction of broad system trends and actual power system operations.

Renewable integration for Aruba and other island systems

Island power planning faces distinct problems not observed in larger markets. Brattle experts prepared a study for W.E.B. Aruba, the power generation and water provider on the island, on integrating 30 percent of wind energy and 10 percent of other renewables, including solar and biogas. The study included development of different ancillary service requirements, detailed operational simulations accounting for renewables and load forecast uncertainty and variability, generator maintenance and forced outages, economic cost, and benefit evaluations of renewables integration. Several technologies were analyzed to improve wind integration, including different types of storage and demand management solutions. Including the approved second wind plant, several solar plants, and other innovative technology options, Aruba is expected to attain nearly 50 percent energy from renewable resources by 2018. Brattle experts are now being asked to help prepare a roadmap for Aruba to achieve the ultimate goal of becoming 100 percent oil-fuel free (for energy and water production). Similar analyses have been prepared for several other islands.

Benefit-cost analysis of New York AC transmission upgrades

For the New York Department of Public Service (DPS) and NYISO, Brattle experts evaluated 21 alternative projects to increase transfer capability from Upstate to Southeast New York. We quantified a broad scope of economic benefits: traditional production cost savings from reduced congestion using GE-MAPS; additional production cost savings considering non-normal conditions; resource cost savings from being able to retire downstate capacity, delay of new entry, and shifting the location of future entry upstate; avoided costs from replacing aging transmission that would have to be refurbished; reduced costs of integrating new renewable resources upstate; and increased local tax receipts. The simulations enabled us to identify projects with the greatest and most robust net present value. The DPS used the analysis to inform its recommendation to the Public Service Commission to declare a “Public Policy Need” to build such a project.

Experts
Publications
Report
Recognizing the Role of Transmission in Electric System Resilience
May 09, 2018
Prepared for WIRES

The report explores the role that transmission plays in grid resilience and how policies and investments directed at strengthening the electricity grid can cost-effectively enhance the resilience of electricity supply.

Report
Defining Reliability for a New Grid: Maintaining Reliability and Resilience through Competitive Markets
May 3, 2018
Prepared for the American Petroleum Institute (API)
Presentation
Transmission Topology Optimization
February 19, 2018
Published by The Brattle Group, Inc.
Report
The Future of Cap-and-Trade Program in California: Will Low GHG Prices Last Forever?
December 05, 2017
Yingxia Yang, Michael Hagerty, Ashley Palmarozzo, Hannah Sheffield, Metin Celebi, Marc Chupka, and Frank C. Graves
Published by The Brattle Group, Inc.

A discussion paper examining the trends of the California greenhouse gas (GHG) market and analyzes the underlying future drivers that will affect California GHG prices to achieve the state’s ambitious goal of 80% decarbonization by 2050.

Presentation
Modeling the 1-Step and 2-Step Dispatch Approaches to Account for GHG Emissions from EIM Transfers to Serve CAISO Load
November 17, 2017
Prepared for the California ISO
Presentation
U.S. Federal and State Regulations: Opportunities and Challenges for Electricity Storage
November 02, 2017
Presented at BIT Congress, Inc.'s 7th World Congress of Smart Energy
Article
Re-evaluating the Implied Cost of CO2 Avoided by Clean Energy Investments
October 2017
Published in The Electricity Journal, Volume 30, Issue 8, Pages 17-22
Presentation
Advancing Past “Baseload” to a Flexible Grid: How Grid Planners and Power Markets Are Better Defining System Needs to Achieve a Cost-Effective and Reliable Supply Mix
July 28, 2017
Presented to the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee
Report
Advancing Past "Baseload" to a Flexible Grid: How Grid Planners and Power Markets Are Better Defining System Needs to Achieve a Cost-Effective and Reliable Supply Mix
June 26, 2017
Prepared for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

The report examines why traditional “baseload” power plants, such as coal and nuclear, are becoming less economical, why their ability to produce power continuously is less essential in today’s supply mix, and why operational flexibility is an increasingly important ingredient for a cost-effective supply of electricity.

Presentation
Decarbonisation and Tomorrow's Electricity Market
June 12, 2017
Presented at the 2017 IESO Stakeholder Summit
Report
Diversity of Reliability Attributes: A Key Component of the Modern Grid
May 17, 2017
Prepared for the American Petroleum Institute
The report outlines the key reliability challenges and defines the attributes in which electric grid operators should focus on in order to maintain and strengthen system reliability.
Report
Energy and Ancillary Services Market Reforms in Greece: A Path to Enhancing Flexibility and Adopting the European Target Model
May 2017
Prepared for Hellenic Association of Independent Power Producers (HAIPP)
Report
LIPA Generation Planning Review: Caithness Long Island II, and E.F. Barrett and Port Jefferson Repowerings
April 06, 2017
Prepared for the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA)
Report
CO2 Allowance Allocation Options: Considerations for State Policymakers when Developing Mass-Based Compliance Strategies Under the Clean Power Plan
November 28, 2016
Judy Chang, Kathleen Spees, and Tony Lee
Prepared for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

The report examines the economic and policy implications of different carbon dioxide (CO2) allowance allocation approaches under the Clean Power Plan’s (CPP) mass-based standard and/or carbon-cutting programs.

Report
Covering New Gas-Fired Combined Cycle Plants under the Clean Power Plan: Implications for Economic Efficiency and Wholesale Electricity Markets
November 16, 2016
Prepared for the Natural Resources Defense Council

The report examines the potential implications for competitive wholesale electricity markets if new gas-fired combined cycle (CC) plants are not covered under the Clean Power Plan’s (CPP) mass-based state implementation plans (SIPs).

Presentation
Exploring Natural Gas and Renewables in ERCOT, Part IV: The Future of Clean Energy in ERCOT
May 23, 2016
Ira H. Shavel, Yingxia Yang, Roger Lueken, Andrew O’Brien, and Colin McIntyre
Prepared for The Texas Clean Energy Coalition
Report
Benefits of the Southwest Intertie Project-North (SWIP North)
March 31, 2016
Prepared for Great Basin Transmission, LLC
Report
Market Power Analysis of Proposed Transaction Between Duke Energy Corporation and Piedmont Natural Gas Company
January 2016
Prepared for the North Carolina Utilities Commission
Report
Enhancing the Efficiency of Resource Adequacy Planning and Procurements in the Midcontinent ISO Footprint: Options for MISO, Utilities, and States
November 2015
Prepared for NRG
Report
Resource Adequacy in Western Australia: Alternatives to the Reserve Capacity Mechanism
August 2014
Prepared for EnerNOC, Inc.
Presentation
Topology Control Algorithms: Applications for Market Efficiency Improvements and Overload Relief
July 30, 2014
Pablo Ruiz, Michael Caramanis, Evgeniy Goldis, David Hislop, Bhavana Keshavamurthy, Xiaoguang Li, Dan Moscovitz, Russ Philbrick, Alex Rudkevich, Richard Tabors, and Toshiki Bruce Tsuchida
Presented at the Super Session on Grid Operations, 2014 IEEE PES General Meeting, National Harbor, MD
Presentation
Resource Adequacy Requirements, Scarcity Pricing, and Electricity Market Design Implications
July 02, 2014
Presented at the IEA Electricity Security Advisory Panel, Paris, France
Presentation
Topology Control Algorithms (TCA): Simulations in PJM with AC Modeling
June 23, 2014
Pablo Ruiz, Michael Caramanis, Evgeniy Goldis, Bhavana Keshavamurthy, Xiaoguang Li, Russ Philbrick, Alex Rudkevich, Richard Tabors, and Toshiki Bruce Tsuchida
Presented at the FERC Technical Conference On Increasing Real-Time And Day-Ahead Market Efficiency Through Improved Software, Washington, DC
Report
Resource Adequacy Requirements: Reliability and Economic Implications
September 2013
Johannes P. Pfeifenberger, Kathleen Spees, Kevin Carden, and Nick Wintermantel
Prepared for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
Report
Resource Adequacy in California: Options for Improving Efficiency and Effectiveness
October 2012
Prepared for Calpine
Presentation
Modern Integrated Resource Planning for a Low-Carbon Future
December 12, 2011
Presented to the United States Energy Association, Global Workshop on Low Carbon power Sector Development, Washington, DC
Article
Decision Complexities in Utility Resource Planning and Environmental Compliance Investment
September 2011
In The Market Backdrop to U.S. Power Generation Coal Technology Goal-Setting and Learning, and published by Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
Report
The Economics of Resource Adequacy Planning: Why Reserve Margins Are Not Just About Keeping the Lights On
April 2011
Kevin Carden, Nick Wintermantel, and Johannes P. Pfeifenberger
Published by National Regulatory Research Institute
News & Knowledge
May 09, 2018
Brattle Economists: Efforts to Enhance the Resilience of the Electricity System Should Focus on Transmission

Economists at The Brattle Group released a study today that explores the important role that transmission plays in grid resilience and how policies and investments directed at strengthening the electricity grid can cost-effectively enhance the resilience of electricity supply.

February 27, 2018
Sam Newell to Present at Texas-Germany Bilateral Dialogue on Challenges and Opportunities in the Electricity Market

Brattle Principal Sam Newell will present at the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern U.S., Inc.’s (GACC South) event, “Texas-Germany Bilateral Dialogue on Challenges and Opportunities in the Electricity Market,” taking place on February 27, 2018 in Austin, TX.

December 05, 2017
Reaching California's Deep Decarbonization Goals May Require Large Increases in Carbon Prices in the Absence of Further Technological Breakthroughs, According to Brattle Economists

A discussion paper by economists at The Brattle Group examines the trends of the California greenhouse gas (GHG) market and analyzes the underlying future drivers that will affect California GHG prices to achieve the state’s ambitious goal of 80% decarbonization by 2050. 

November 02, 2017
Romkaew Broehm to Present at BIT's World Congress of Smart Energy

Brattle Principal Romkaew Broehm will present at BIT Congress, Inc.’s World Congress of Smart Energy, taking place November 2-4, 2017 in Wuxi, China.

September 26, 2017
Sam Newell to Present at LSI Conference on Electric Power in the Northeast

Brattle Principal Sam Newell will present at Law Seminars International’s (LSI) 14th Annual Advanced Conference on Electric Power in the Northeast, taking place September 25-26, 2017 in Boston, MA and via webcast.

September 21, 2017
Brattle Study for National Grid Shows Topology Optimization Can Help Relieve Major Transmission Constraints in Great Britain

A team of Brattle experts has been engaged by National Grid Electricity Transmission to study the potential of topology optimization to aid in increasing transfer capability and reducing constraint management costs in the Great Britain Transmission System.

June 27, 2017
Brattle Economists Identify Key Attributes for Ensuring Electric Grid Reliability with Increased Variable Energy

A report by Brattle economists outlines the key reliability challenges and defines the attributes in which electric grid operators should focus on in order to maintain and strengthen system reliability.

June 26, 2017
Brattle Economists Recommend Moving beyond "Baseload" Generation for Planning and Operating Today's Electric Grid

Brattle economists have released a report explaining how the use of the term “baseload” generation is no longer useful for the purposes of planning and operating today’s electricity system.

June 20, 2017
Bruce Tsuchida to Present at UVIG Forecasting Workshop

Brattle Principal Bruce Tsuchida will present at the Utility Variable-Generation Integration Group’s (UVIG) 2017 Forecasting Workshop and Tutorial, “Applying Meteorology in Power System Planning and Operations,” taking place June 20-22, 2017 in Atlanta, GA.

November 28, 2016
Report by Brattle Economists Examines Implications of Carbon Allowance Allocation Approaches under Clean Power Plan

A report by Brattle consultants examines the economic and policy implications of different carbon dioxide (CO2) allowance allocation approaches under the Clean Power Plan’s (CPP) mass-based standard and/or carbon-cutting programs.

November 16, 2016
Including New Gas-Fired Combined Cycle Plants in State Clean Power Plan Compliance Could Lower System Costs of Achieving Carbon Reduction Goals, According to Brattle Economists

A report issued by Brattle consultants examines the potential implications for competitive wholesale electricity markets if new gas-fired combined cycle (CC) plants are not covered under the Clean Power Plan’s (CPP) mass-based state implementation plans (SIPs).

May 23, 2016
Market Forces Primary Driver of Transition in the ERCOT Grid, According to Report by Brattle Economists

A new report authored by Brattle economists finds that over the next 20 years, the price of natural gas is the primary driver for The Electric Reliability Council of Texas’ (ERCOT) transition to a clean energy future.

February 24, 2016
Brattle Report Cited in Utility Dive Article on CAISO Study of New Regional Electricity Market

A Brattle report was recently featured in a Utility Dive article discussing the California Independent System Operator’s (CAISO) study to assess the potential of a regional electricity market in the West.

May 13, 2015
Bill Zarakas to Present at EUCI Annual Conference on Utility Integrated Resource Planning

Brattle principal Bill Zarakas has been selected to present at EUCI’s 15th Annual Utility Integrating Resource Planning (IRP) conference, taking place May 14-15, 2015 in Atlanta, GA.

July 16, 2014
Brattle Consultants Lead Demand Response Workshop Before Thai Energy Regulatory Commission and Utilities Delegation

Brattle consultants presented a half-day workshop on the growth of demand response technology in the electric utility industry before the Energy Regulatory Commission of Thailand, along with other representatives on July 16, 2014 at EnerNOC’s Boston headquarters.

June 23, 2014
Senior Associate Pablo Ruiz Presents at FERC Technical Conference on Increasing Efficiency through Improved Software

Senior associate Pablo Ruiz recently presented at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Technical Conference on “Increasing Real-Time and Day-Ahead Market Efficiency through Improved Software” in Washington, DC.