Senior Managing Consultant
Chelsea Petrenko

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Chelsea Petrenko

Dr. Chelsea Petrenko joined E3 in 2021 and supports E3’s work in distributed energy resources, electric vehicles, and other components of the clean energy transition. She brings deep experience in research design, execution, and publication, along with subject matter expertise in energy efficiency, distributed energy resources, and utility customer experience. In addition to the experience Chelsea brings from her research, she is an alumnus and organizer of the Clean Energy Leadership Institute and a graduate of the National Science Foundation Interdisciplinary Research Traineeship.

Chelsea has been conducting climate-related research since 2006, when she became fascinated with the human impact on the Earth’s biogeochemistry. She completed her PhD at Dartmouth College, where she studied GHG emissions related to biofuels and also participated in research expeditions to Greenland and Antarctica. Since completing her PhD in 2015, she has been conducting research in the energy industry, with the aim of reducing GHG emissions and helping states meet their short- and long-term goals.

In her free time, Chelsea loves hiking, cycling, gardening, playing music and spending time with her family.

Education: PhD, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Dartmouth College; BS, Environmental Science, University of New Hampshire

Projects

Impact of Massachusetts’s Decarbonization Goals | Massachusetts Local Gas Distribution Companies, 2021-2023

E3 provided analysis in support of the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) December 2023 Order in the 20-80 “Future of gas” proceeding, which sets a new regulatory framework for the future of natural gas distribution in support of the Commonwealth’s climate goals. The DPU recommended the E3 team’s analysis in support of the 20-80 proceeding, writing:

“The Department commends the LDCs and their Consultants for their comprehensive effort in estimating the costs and economy-wide GHG emissions reductions involved in transitioning the natural gas system. The Department fully recognizes the difficulty in assessing these multidimensional challenges and expresses its appreciation for the comprehensive Pathways Report.

E3 developed and analyzed eight decarbonization pathways and six regulatory design recommendations as part of a multi-year engagement examining the role of local gas distribution companies (LDCs) in Massachusetts in achieving net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the Commonwealth by 2050. In addition to the Decarbonization Pathways Study, which was developed as part of the Commonwealth’s 20-80 proceeding, E3 assisted each of the LDCs in their filing of a Net Zero Enablement Plan that included LDC-specific recommendations and plans to support the Commonwealth’s decarbonization goals. This project also involved a broad modeling framework designed by E3 as well as an extensive stakeholder process aimed at gauging stakeholder perspectives on gas decarbonization.

Read the detailed project description.

New York City Long-Term Energy Plan | New York City Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice, 2022-2023

E3 led a team completing an inclusive, year-long study to identify the policies and programs needed to achieve the New York City’s decarbonization goals. E3’s analysis involved both examining policies and programs to meet the city’s long-term goals as well as providing specific recommendations for actions to be taken during the current administration. The study included eight research branches focused on the performance and cost of heat pumps in new buildings; the affordability of electrification retrofits in rent-regulated housing; the opportunities for electric school bus managed charging and vehicle-to-grid; the potential for in-city wind energy; a screening of public lands for new clean energy development; an assessment of the electric grid readiness for increasing heat pump and EV charging loads; and an evaluation of how bulk energy storage could reduce reliance on in-city fossil generation. Based on E3’s study, New York City published PowerUp NYC, the city’s first Long-Term Energy Plan, which includes 29 clean energy initiatives focused on the city’s energy grid, its buildings, and its transportation sector. Many aspects of the PowerUp NYC, from research topic selection to recommendations, were developed in collaboration with the public, and with the public’s interest at the forefront of the decision-making process. The recommendations of the LTEP are aligned with long-term energy and equity policy mandates from both the city and state and revolve around the needs of NYC residents.

Read the detailed project description.


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