Ascend Analytics Establishes New Approach for Determining QF Rates to Protect Ratepayers

Ascend Analytics delivers expert testimony on new approaches to develop Qualify Facility (QF) power contract rates that protected the ratepayers’ and utility’s interests.  The QF rates applied a novel new economic construct that followed FERC guidance under the Public Utilities Regulatory Act (PURPA).  During expert testimony, witness Dr. Gary Dorris, substantiated wind energy purchase rates through a Differential Revenue Requirement (DRR) approach using Ascend’s PowerSimm software.  The hourly avoided costs measured through DRR are the QF power contract rates.

The DRR approach differentiated between hours of power imports and exports to determine the hourly avoided cost to serve load.  Under import conditions, the model calculated avoided cost as a function of market price.  During export conditions, avoided costs were a function of the utilities own production cost from a lower cost power plant.  The result of utilizing market interactions to determine the avoided cost of production yielded the a more consistent and lower avoided cost over other approaches.

Gary Dorris Called to Provide Expert Testimony on behalf of NorthWestern Energy to the Montana Public Service Commission

Gary Dorris to provide expert testimony on behalf of NorthWestern Energy to the Montana Public Service Commission


On July 9, 2014, Gary Dorris, the President of Ascend Analytics, delivered expert testimony on behalf of NorthWestern Energy during a hearing held by the Montana Public Service Commission regarding NorthWestern Energy’s bid to purchase $900 million of hydroelectric assets from PPL Montana.  Ascend’s team, and its PowerSimm software, consulted and modeled the acquisition and potential impacts to NorthWestern Energy’s ratepayers.  Ascend Analytics concluded that NorthWestern Energy’s proposed purchase of 11 hydroelectric dams will initially increase rates, but these rates will ultimately become more stable and reliable for consumers according to a longer-term forecast.  Dr. Dorris handled cross examination with great deftness, furthering the economic merit of the hydro asset acquisition.