Snuller (Snu) Price has more than 20 years of experience supporting utilities and state and federal government clients with energy policy and resource planning. He has pursued a broad array of topics across the electricity sector, seeking large-scale, cost-effective opportunities and contributing insights, methods, and tools to the field throughout his career.
Snu has helped develop standard methods that regulators widely use to assess the cost-effectiveness of cogeneration, demand response, electric vehicles, energy efficiency, and building standards. He has also managed economic evaluations of net energy metering for behind-the-meter solar in many states.
Snu enjoys working with both clients and staff to identify ways to lower costs, protect the environment, and provide sound investment opportunities. He is currently leading the development of utility planning tools that evaluate distribution plans for financial risk, reliability, and uncertainty, and devising rate designs that encourage cost-effective and sustainable business models for utilities and distributed energy resources. He is also working on the long-term planning necessary to meet climate goals, and advising policy makers in California, New York, and the Pacific Northwest on infrastructure and energy pathways.
Snu has always had a passion for energy, and joined E3 as our first full-time employee upon completing his undergraduate degree. He is excited to be guiding change in this rapidly evolving industry, publishing articles, and presenting at conferences on a regular basis.
Education: MS, engineering economic systems and operations research, Stanford University; BS, engineering, and BA, economics, Swarthmore College
- Pacific Northwest Pathways to 2050
- Deep Decarbonization in a High Renewables Future – Updated Results from the California PATHWAYS Model, CEC 2015 – 2018
- Business models for distributed energy resource development: A case study with Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited
- Decarbonizing Pipeline Gas to Help Meet California’s 2050 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goal
- 2019 TDV Updates
- Time Dependent Valuation of Energy for Developing Building Efficiency Standards
- CPUC Avoided Cost DRAFT Results
- Avoided Costs 2016 Interim Update
- The Benefits and Costs of Net Energy Metering in New York
- I‐5 Corridor Reinforcement Phase 2 Non‐Wires Analysis: Feasibility for Line Deferral
E3 analyzed regional 2050 decarbonization scenarios for the Pacific Northwest on behalf of NW Natural, a gas distribution business in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Unlike prior studies, E3’s focused on space heating technologies: both how they perform in cold temperatures and affect the costs of serving heating loads. E3 analyzed four scenarios — two maintaining direct use of gas in buildings, and two assuming large-scale building electrification — and found similar 2050 costs among the gas and cold-climate electric heat pump scenarios, and higher costs in the standard electric heat pump scenario. Gas scenarios require three things beyond the decarbonization strategies common to all scenarios: reducing the carbon intensity of natural gas by blending up to 30 percent carbon-neutral renewable natural gas (RNG) and hydrogen; high building energy efficiency; and deeper GHG reductions in non-building sector emissions. Electrification scenarios require rapid consumer adoption of electric heating technologies, especially cold-climate heat pumps, and significant electricity sector investments to address winter peak demand from electric space heating.
Deep Decarbonization in a High Renewables Future: Updated Results from the California PATHWAYS model | CEC, 2015–2018
This project evaluates long-term energy scenarios in California through 2050 using the California PATHWAYS model. These scenarios investigate options and costs to achieve a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, relative to 1990 levels. Ten mitigation scenarios are evaluated, with each […]
In 2001, E3 helped Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) develop a groundbreaking transmission planning process in which we considered non-wires alternatives—energy efficiency, demand response, and distributed generation—alongside conventional investments. BPA was one of the first major transmission providers in North America to use an economic screening for every potential bulk transmission investment. Since then, we have studied non-wires alternatives for other BPA project proposals, including the Hooper Springs line in southeastern Idaho and the 500 kV I-5 corridor reinforcement project in Washington. For the latter, E3 evaluated deferral options, including energy efficiency and demand response, as well as redispatch of generators. BPA is evaluating proposals for implementation of the redispatch option, with potential savings of up to $750 million for its customers.
E3, working with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), developed an innovative retail electric rate design to encourage beneficial customer investment in distributed energy resources (DERs), a leading goal of the New York Public Service Commission’s Reforming the Energy Vision initiative. Our conceptual full-value tariff (FVT) has three components: a customer charge, a size-based network subscription charge, and a time-varying kWh price. The network subscription charge may vary by location to reflect local transmission and distribution costs. We modeled customer response to the FVT to assess its impact on the value proposition of DER technologies, such as energy storage, smart thermostats, and smart vehicle charging. The analysis showed that the FVT can yield savings from measures that are not encouraged under existing rates, while still compensating solar PV and energy-efficiency measures in high-value locations. The FVT conceptual framework underpins the Smart Home Rate demonstrations that New York’s investor-owned utilities filed with the commission in February 2017.
E3 worked closely with the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), to develop innovative business cases for utilizing UCSD’s microgrid to provide system-level renewables integration services and integrate UCSD’s onsite solar resources. The UCSD microgrid consists of a 30 MW combined heat and power system that includes natural gas generators, steam-driven chillers, and thermal storage. E3 benchmarked the UCSD microgrid and developed an optimal dispatch model that determines hourly dispatch scenarios for on-campus resources and cost-effective strategies to provide peak load shifting, grid support, and PV firming. Using the model’s results, E3 proposed new tariff designs and incentives that could motivate UCSD and similar customers to use their distributed resources to integrate variable renewable energy.
We are helping the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), one of the largest public transit systems in the country, to reduce its electricity costs, and define and achieve its environmental goals. E3’s scope has encompassed guidance on MTA’s energy strategic plan and quantification of sustainability objectives. E3’s effort has included analyzing data for hundreds of monthly electric bills, assessing potential electricity cost savings, and investigating regulatory strategies to realize cost-reducing alternatives.
The University of California Office of the President (UCOP) retained E3 to develop an energy procurement plan for the six UC campuses served by competitive energy suppliers with total annual usage of over 250 GWh. We developed a model to compare the economic and environmental attributes of proposed purchase contracts against the university’s existing portfolio of contracts and retail electric rates. E3 projected each campus’s loads, operation profiles, and costs for existing combined heat and power facilities, and calculated the cost of new supply portfolios that included on-site generation, off-campus renewable power purchase agreements, and market electricity purchases. Our analysis, which found significant potential to make progress on sustainability goals while managing procurement costs and risk, formed the basis for UCOP’s procurement strategy. E3 continues to advise UCOP and individual campuses on the economics of renewable energy projects and procurement strategies for achieving the UC Sustainability Directive of zero carbon emissions by 2025.
Economic analysis of market-based carbon reduction | Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, 2016–2017
E3 worked with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to evaluate the economic impacts of adopting a carbon market in Oregon, per the directive of the State Legislature (SB 5701). E3 performed a detailed literature review of cap and trade programs and impacts across North America and Europe. We also developed an economic analysis of Oregon’s climate policies, including an estimate of the potential macroeconomic impacts of cap and trade in Oregon. E3 evaluated two categories of climate policies: (1) ‘complementary policies,’ which are the policies that drive GHG emissions reductions outside of the carbon market (e.g. the renewable portfolio standard and energy efficiency programs), and (2) different configurations of a future carbon market. E3 modeled the complementary policies in the energy-accounting model LEAP (Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning system), and the impacts of the carbon market using the IMPLAN macroeconomic model. The results of this study were presented to Oregon stakeholders in January 2017, and the Oregon DEQ presented the study results to the Oregon Legislature for consideration in February 2017.
E3 is supporting the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in developing a detailed GHG analysis to quantify the infrastructure and policy changes necessary to meet state climate and energy goals. We are evaluating the GHG and cost implications of a variety of scenarios that are consistent with New York’s goal of reducing statewide GHG emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. In this work, E3 developed a user-friendly PATHWAYS model on the LEAP software platform for NYSERDA, as well as other modeling tools to support evaluating costs and options to decarbonize the electricity sector.
E3 has been a resource to the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Technical Assistance to States program through Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory since 2008. Our projects help state governments better understand how to implement energy efficiency programs and how to make them cost-effective. E3 has advised utility commissioners and senior policy staff in Pennsylvania, Georgia, South Dakota, Illinois, Arizona, and other states on major aspects of their program designs. We provide accurate information, guidance, and background based on our knowledge of various states’ decisions, and share our expertise in standard industry practice.
E3 worked with the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) to evaluate the potential of decarbonized pipeline gas fuels and the existing pipeline infrastructure to help meet California’s long-term climate goals. “Decarbonized pipeline gas” refers to gaseous fuels—including biogas—with a net-zero or very low GHG impact. E3 used its PATHWAYS model to evaluate two scenarios, one with heavy electrification of buildings and vehicles and one with a mix of electrification and decarbonized pipeline gas. Both were found capable of meeting the state’s 2050 climate goals with comparable total costs within the ranges of uncertainty that we evaluated. The results of the study suggest that the use of decarbonized gas distributed through the state’s existing pipeline network would complement a low-carbon electrification strategy. SoCalGas has used the results of this study to inform its energy and climate policy positions in California.
E3 supported the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in developing an updated “Scoping Plan” strategy for achieving California’s 2030 greenhouse gas target. California Senate Bill 32 (Pavley, 2016) requires the state to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. E3’s analysis evaluated the GHG and cost implications of different 2030 scenarios that are consistent with the state’s current policies and GHG target. For this project, E3 updated the California PATHWAYS model to reflect scenarios and input assumptions requested by the CARB. The model results were translated into inputs to a macroeconomic model (REMI) in analysis performed by the CARB to evaluate impacts to statewide economic growth and jobs. E3’s study results were presented in public stakeholder workshops and are reflected in the final Scoping Plan published in November 2017.
The California Air Resources Board, California Energy Commission, California Public Utilities Commission, California ISO, and governor’s office engaged E3 to evaluate the feasibility and cost of potential 2030 GHG targets. We focused on emission reduction strategies through 2030, with an eye toward meeting the state’s 2050 GHG reduction goal. Using our PATHWAYS model, we developed several scenarios that varied the mix of low-carbon technologies and the timing of deployment. PATHWAYS is a stock-and-flow model that encompasses the entire state economy with detailed representations of the building, industrial, transportation, and electricity sectors. E3 team members briefed Gov. Jerry Brown and members of the legislature on the results. Our work informed the governor’s Executive Order B-30-15, which calls for a 40 percent reduction in statewide GHG emissions by 2030 relative to 1990 levels. California agencies are using our results in ongoing implementation analysis of the state’s climate goals.
E3 supports the California Energy Commission (CEC) in implementing the state building energy code by maintaining the economic framework for energy standard requirements and allowed trade-offs for new construction. We have worked with the CEC and its stakeholders since 1999 to continually refine a time-dependent valuation (TDV) methodology, and we are now supporting the life-cycle cost analysis for measures proposed in the 2019 cycle. The TDV methodology uses a 30-year forecast of the social cost of energy that varies hourly and by location to account for shifts in system peaks over time, and regional variations in climate and grid utilization. In the 2019 code cycle, E3 is evaluating the cost-effectiveness of California’s goal to require that all new residential buildings be zero net energy by 2020 and that nonresidential buildings be zero net energy by 2030. We are also assessing the economic and GHG emission impacts of switching to all-electric housing and the value of integrating controllable thermostats and appliances into new buildings.
E3 built on a collaboration with Con Edison going back to 2000 to develop an integrated demand-side management (IDSM) model that expands the utility’s distribution planning capabilities. Using detailed data on customer populations, the tool assesses market potential for dispatchable distributed energy resources (DERs) within local electric networks, enabling Con Edison to identify lower-cost ways to alleviate local distribution constraints.
Con Edison has integrated the IDSM tool into its distribution planning practices and is using it to help realize the New York State Public Service Commission’s Reforming the Energy Vision initiative. The E3 team continues to refine and enhance the tool, which won the 2014 Utility Analytics Institute Innovation Award.
Since 2004, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has used E3’s Avoided Cost Model (ACM) to estimate the benefits of energy efficiency, distributed generation, energy storage, and other distributed energy resources (DERs). The ACM has evolved along with energy markets and policy in the West, and it currently projects avoided costs for energy, losses, generation capacity, ancillary services, subtransmission and distribution capacity, renewable portfolio standard purchases, carbon allowances, and other air permit costs. The 30-year hourly forecast is differentiated across California’s 16 climate zones.
The CPUC approves over $1 billion in annual funding for DERs using these avoided costs for its cost-effectiveness tests. The ACM is suitable for stakeholder processes and contentious regulatory proceedings because it uses robust methods and publicly available input data. E3 also allows the download of the ACM so that all stakeholders can audit any of the calculations.
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