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Dr. Powers specializes in conducting econometric and economic analysis and applying concepts from industrial organization and regulatory economics to competition, regulatory, and other litigation matters.

Dr. Powers frequently provides economic analysis of cartel behavior, and assessment of liability and damages in matters concerning alleged collusion. He also has experience analyzing the competitive effects of proposed mergers and exclusionary practices. Additionally, he conducts similar econometric work in antitrust and regulatory matters in the electric, postal, transportation, and other industries. 

In regulatory proceedings, Dr. Powers has extensive experience conducting analysis for and submitting expert reports that often involve regulatory costing or rate-making issues. This includes extensive analysis of regression-based costing models and other economic issues in the postal industry, econometric analysis of the load impacts of innovative pricing programs in the electric industry, and rate of return analysis in the telecommunications industry. He has also acted as both an independent evaluator and an advisor to several procurement processes in the electricity sector, involving renewable energy, transmission capacity, and other energy products.

Dr. Powers also has varied experience in the electricity industry. This includes conducting damages assessments in litigation matters and analyses of price effects, market power, and anticompetitive behavior in several litigation proceedings arising from the California electricity crisis of 2000–2001. He has also analyzed the cost and feasibility of renewables-only energy portfolios.

Representative Engagements
California electricity crisis

For the California parties, managed the analysis and supported the development of testimonies evaluating: (1) The effects of tariff violations in the summer of 2000 on CAISO market prices; (2) The extent and effects of withholding of generation capacity; and (3) The extent to which effects on real-time prices persisted into subsequent trading days.

Time of use pilot evaluation

For three utilities in Maryland, developed and executed methodology for evaluating the impacts on electric load from implementing prices that vary between peak and off-peak periods (ongoing).

Postal service cost allocation

Supported and coauthored expert reports submitted in support of filings made in several proceedings before the Postal Regulatory Commission. Topics addressed included the methodologies employed by the United States Postal Service to allocate its city delivery, highway transportation, and other costs to its various products.

International price-fixing civil case (manufactured goods)

Advised counsel representing a large multinational industrial firm by estimating overcharges and volume of affected commerce relating to a series of price-fixing conspiracies covering several input commodities.

International price-fixing civil case (services industry)

Managed the analysis and supported Nobel Laureate Dr. Daniel McFadden in his testimony, which estimated (on behalf of the plaintiffs) the economic damages due to an international price-fixing conspiracy.

Publications
Report
PC44 Time of Use Pilots: Year One Evaluation
September 15, 2020
Sanem Sergici, Ahmad Faruqui, Nicholas E. Powers, Sai Shetty, and Jingchen Jiang
Prepared for Maryland Joint Utilities
Report
Power to Memphis: Options for a Reliable, Affordable and Greener Future
January 2019
Jürgen Weiss, Judy Chang, Nicholas E. Powers, and Kai Van Horn
Prepared for Friends of the Earth
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
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
March 19, 2021
The Brattle Group Assists FirstEnergy Pennsylvania Utilities to Complete Purchase of Solar Photovoltaic Alternative Energy Credits

Through a competitive bidding process conducted by Brattle economists, FirstEnergy Corp.’s (NYSE: FE) subsidiaries Metropolitan Edison Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, and Pennsylvania Power Company have successfully solicited contracts for Solar Photovoltaic Alternative Energy Credits (SPAECs) covering the 2022 and 2023 energy years. In total, 38,500 SPAECs were acquired for each energy year.

January 28, 2021
Experts Daniel Gaynor, Fabricio Nuñez, Nicholas Powers, and John Tsoukalis Promoted to Principal at The Brattle Group

The Brattle Group is pleased to announce that four experts were recently promoted to Principal: Daniel Gaynor, Fabricio Nuñez, Nicholas Powers, and John Tsoukalis.

September 15, 2020
Study by Brattle Economists Evaluates Time-of-Use (TOU) Pilots for Maryland Utilities

In a new study prepared for BGE, Pepco, and DPL – collectively referenced as the Maryland Utilities, consultants at The Brattle Group evaluated the results from the first year of the Maryland Utilities’ PC44 Time-of-Use (TOU) rate pilots.

July 02, 2020
Brattle Consultants Managing Sale of Transmission Rights for TDI's Champlain Hudson Power Express

A team of Brattle consultants, led by Principal James Reitzes and Senior Associate Nick Powers, has been retained by Transmission Developers Inc. (TDI) to manage the Open Solicitation process for selling transmission rights on the Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE), which commenced on June 23, 2020.

September 30, 2019
Brattle Client Receives Favorable Settlement in Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Class Action

In November 2015, a class action was brought in Australia’s Federal Court against Volkswagen (VW) on behalf of several thousand Australian VW, Audi, and Skoda owners, which claimed that VW had not complied with emission standards on diesel-powered vehicles. 

March 06, 2019
New Brattle Report on Alternative Energy Portfolios for the City of Memphis Highlights Opportunities and Challenges related to 100% Renewable Power Supply

A new report by economists at The Brattle Group uses a detailed power system model to examine alternative power supply portfolios for the City of Memphis, including several 100% renewable portfolios by 2050. 

April 04, 2018
Brattle to Manage Sale of Transmission Rights from GE's Linden VFT Smart Grid Project

The Brattle Group will manage an open solicitation process for General Electric (GE) to sell transmission rights across GE’s Linden Variable Frequency Transformer (VFT).

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. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife and two children and is an avid traveler, soccer fan, and music fan.