Insights

Shared Services in Higher Education 2018

April 23, 2018

Thank you for joining us at the recent Shared Services in Higher Education event where we focused on unlocking your shared services potential. Below are a few collateral pieces to help you meet your current and future goals. If you have any questions, please contact us.


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Entergy to Sell Vermont Yankee Nuclear Facility

April 19, 2018

Entergy Corporation and the State of Vermont reached an agreement on the sale of Vermont Yankee in Vernon, VT to a subsidiary of NorthStar Group Services, Inc. (NorthStar). When the plant came offline for economic reasons in December 2014, Entergy estimated decommissioning and site restoration would cost $1.2 billion and take 60 years. However, NorthStar estimates decommissioning could begin as early as 2019 and take seven to nine years. NorthStar expects to finance the project via a trust that currently holds $570 million, along with cash guarantees from NorthStar ($140 million) and Entergy (up to $40 million). Supporters of NorthStar’s plan include Vermont’s attorney general, the town of Vernon, and other state and local stakeholders. Critics argue that NorthStar’s plan leaves citizens financially and environmentally vulnerable should problems arise and that NorthStar itself lacks requisite experience.


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Will Coal-Fueled Energy Exist in the United States in 2050?

April 16, 2018

In the last 10 years, coal power generation has fallen from providing more than half of the electricity in the United States to less than 30% today. While that number held steady for 2016 and 2017, coal plant owners have announced 13 GW of planned retirements for 2018, the largest since a record 15 GW retired in 2015. Another 10 GW of capacity is already planned for retirement over the next six years; including more than 2 GW by Duke Energy alone, with more announcements likely. The only coal plant that will begin operating this year is a 17 MW unit being installed at a campus microgrid in Fairbanks, Alaska. If shutdowns were to continue at this rate of more than 10 GW per year with no replacements coming online, coal power generation would cease to exist in the United States in less than 25 years. Before we rush to write the epitaph for coal power, let’s take a step back and look at what is driving some of these retirements.


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Perspectives on Rate Freezes – An Update

April 12, 2018

Rate freezes, arrangements where utilities are prohibited from filing rate cases, have been commonly used nationwide since the 1990s. As of January 2018, rate freezes or rate case moratoriums are in place across 27 jurisdictions, impacting 37 electric and 31 gas utilities. While these arrangements have overwhelmingly originated from past rate cases and are intended to benefit consumers, some adverse consequences can also result from such arrangements.


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From 35%-21%: FERC Ensuring Utilities Pass Cost Savings from Federal Income Tax Rate Back to Customers

April 11, 2018

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is moving quickly to ensure utilities are passing along the cost savings from the reduction of the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, effective January 1 of this year. From the moment the tax bill was passed on December 20, 2017, officials and public service commissions from 35 states and the District of Columbia have been calling on FERC to act to direct regulated utilities to reduce their rates.


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The Year Ahead in Energy Storage: Storage Week 2018 at a Glance

April 11, 2018

During Infocast’s Storage Week 2018, ScottMadden director, Kevin Hernandez, and senior associate, Scott Roulston, served as panel moderators for sessions geared toward behind-the-meter and grid-connected energy storage systems. The following provides a summary of the insights shared during those discussions related to:


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Strategies and Policy Considerations for an Uncertain Grid Market

April 6, 2018

Coming out of the 2018 Infocast Transmission Summit, ScottMadden director, Stephen Haubrich, and partner and energy practice leader, Cristin Lyons, share key takeaways related to strategies and policy considerations for an uncertain grid market.


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The Digital Power Plant – How Leveraging Data for Better Decision-Making Is Improving Performance, Safety, and Reliability

April 3, 2018

The concept of the digital power plant has been receiving a lot of attention and calls for an assessment of what it really means and what the maturing technologies have to offer power generation companies. At the December 2017 POWERGEN Conference, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems President and CEO Paul F. Browning announced they had broken ground on a combined-cycle power plant capable of fully autonomous operation slated for completion in 2020. Emerging digital analytics platforms are transforming how power generation companies collect, use, and learn from their data to realize new opportunities for reducing costs, improving efficiency, and managing risk. In a market environment with exceptionally lean margins, the oldest legacy generating units can benefit from this digital transformation just as much as the newest cutting-edge construction.


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Chairman’s Takeaways: Shared Services & Outsourcing Week 2018

March 29, 2018

ScottMadden recently joined industry leaders at SSON’s 22nd Annual North American Shared Services & Outsourcing Week (SSOW) to provide strategies for establishing and continuing shared service success. This presentation highlights the chairman’s key takeaways to help you stay ahead of the curve.


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Robotics Process Automation: Production-Ready Pilot

March 28, 2018

ScottMadden’s RPA Production-Ready Pilot will help you educate stakeholders on the value of RPA, select the right processes to pilot for optimal impact, and design a sustainable operations and governance model to deliver real business value long term. Our experience designing shared services processes, coupled with our understanding of RPA-related processes, puts us in a position to help guide you through your initial RPA pilot, implementation, and on-going improvements. This understanding, combined with our depth of expertise in large-scale implementations, helps us create the best possible result for you.


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Shared Services Data Protection

March 28, 2018

ScottMadden can help you understand and resolve your shared services security issues by improving how you manage and govern cybersecurity. We provide a strategic, outcome-driven approach customized to your organization’s needs. Our experts understand shared services operations, their risks, and the security practices that work best in these environments.

Interested in taking a deeper dive? Download your free report on data protection for your shared services.

Sempra Energy’s Pending Acquisition of Oncor

March 27, 2018

Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH). Sempra Energy, an electric and natural gas utility holding company, serves roughly 32 million consumers worldwide. As part of the deal, Sempra received EFH’s 80% ownership of Oncor, the largest regulated electric transmission and distribution provider in Texas.


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Welcome to ScottMadden!

Sussex Economic Advisors is now part of ScottMadden. We invite you to learn more about our expanded firm. Please use the Contact Us form to request additional information.