Amparo Nieto is an expert in energy regulatory consulting with a deep knowledge of energy markets and best practice regulatory methods, and has provided advice to energy firms and regulators worldwide for over 20 years. Her extensive assignments include both federal and state energy regulatory affairs. Her clients are mainly in the US and Canada, but also in Latin America, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean.
Ms. Nieto often testifies on behalf of utilities before energy regulatory commissions in the areas of electricity rates, marginal cost studies; tariffs for customers with renewables-based distributed generation, cost-benefit analysis of demand response programs; and many other areas involving regulatory energy pricing. She has conducted comprehensive electricity marginal cost studies and statistical analysis for many utilities, recommended improvements to rates and programs that better signal the marginal value of energy storage and distributed generation. She has evaluated alternatives to net metering, aimed at enabling more efficient growth of distributed solar PV and has provided advice on more granular marginal costing techniques as part of the NYPSC’s Value of Distributed Energy Resource (VDER) proceeding under REV. She often provides training to utility and regulatory staff on cost analysis, cost allocation methods, and innovative dynamic pricing that enhances economic efficiency.
Ms. Nieto has also provided advisory services to various market operators and independent system operators (ISOs), such as ISO-New England and New York ISO, on changes required to their wholesale capacity market rules and market power mitigation to preserve effective competition and to support efficient expansion of demand response. She has designed and administered competitive auctions to procure default service electricity supply and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) in Illinois, Pennsylvania and Spain. In Australia, Ms. Nieto has assessed transmission and distribution rates and utility compensation models, and has advised the Australian Electricity Market Commission (AEMC) and TransGrid on reforms to transmission planning, including arrangements to introduce competitive solicitations, design of financial transmission rights and related matters.
Ms. Nieto has published energy articles in The Electricity Journal and other industry journals. She is often invited to participate as an expert panelist at industry conferences.
“Distribution Value-Based Tariff Model for Distributed Energy Resources: Principles and Framework Options”. Presented at the 30th Annual Western Conference (CRRI), Monterey, California, June 28, 2017.
“Regulatory Incentive Methods for Electricity Distributors: Emerging Trends”. Presented at Rutgers University’s 29th Annual Western Conference (CRRI), Monterey, California, June 23, 2016.
“Renewable Microgrids: Getting the Pricing Right”. Presented at the Marginal Cost Working Group (MCWG),Washington, D.C., May 5, 2016.
“Policy Options to Address Cross Subsidies from Self-Generation”. Presented at the 12th Annual National Law Seminars International Conference on Electric Utility Ratemaking, Las Vegas, Nevada, March 14, 2016.
“Demand Charges and their Role in Net Energy Metering”. Presented at the “Residential Demand Charges Symposium”, EUCI, Calgary, Canada, December 1, 2015.
“Utility Regulation in the Era of Distributed Renewables: Is There a Need for a New Business Model?”. Presented at Rutgers University’s 28th Annual Western Conference (CRRI), Monterey, California, June 26, 2015.
“Rate Design Options to Deal with Solar Net Metering Concerns”. Presented at the California Municipal Rates Group (CMRG), Sacramento, California, April 25, 2014.
“Integrating Renewable Resources through Capacity Markets: The Case of California”. Presented at Law Seminars International’s Energy in California Conference, San Francisco, California, September 16, 2014.
“Capacity Markets Put to the Test: New Approaches to Meet Evolving Reliability Needs”. Presented at Rutgers University’s 27th Annual Western Conference (CRRI), Monterey, California, June 26, 2014.
“Connecting Wholesale and Retail Pricing: A Look at Required Policy and Market Design Decisions”. Presented at the Harvard Electricity Policy Group (HEPG), Dana Point, California, March 7, 2013.
“Demand Response and its Role within Wholesale Energy and Capacity Markets”. Presented at Rutgers University’s 25th Annual Western Conference (CRRI), Monterey, California, June 2012.
“Achieving Efficient Demand Response through Dynamic Rates”. Presented at Law Seminars International’s Electric Ratemaking Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, February 9, 2009.
“Probability of Peak Analysis for TOU Rate Design”. Presented at the Marginal Cost Working Group (MCWG), Boston, MA, October 8, 2008.
“Critical Peak Pricing: A Marginal Cost Approach”. Presented at the Marginal Cost Working Group (MCWG), Phoenix, Arizona, April 2008.
“Electricity Rate Structure Design: Sector Issues in Rate Design, Marginal and Embedded Cost Studies”. Delivered at the University of PURC’s World Bank International Training Program on Utility Regulation and Strategy, Florida, January 16, 2007.
“Optimizing Prices for Small-Scale Distributed Generation Resources: A Review of Principles and Design Elements”, The Electricity Journal, April 2016.
“Wholesale Energy Markets: Setting the Right Framework for Price Responsive Demand”. The Electricity Journal, December 2012.
“Locational Electricity Capacity Markets: Alternatives to Restore the Missing Signals”. The Electricity Journal, Volume 20, March 2007.
“The Role of Demand Response in the Efficiency of Electricity Wholesale Markets”. Papeles de Economía Española, Madrid. Issue 134, December 2012.
“Performance-Based Regulation of Electricity Transmission in the US: Goals and Necessary Reforms”. NERA’s Newsletter Energy Regulation Insights, Issue 28, March 2006.
Selected Expert Reports and Testimony
“Otter Tail Power Company’s Marginal Cost of Generation, Transmission and Distribution Service, Final Report.“ February 16, 2018. Study submitted in preparation of OTP’s 2018 South Dakota electricity rate case.
“Central Maine Power Company’s Marginal Cost of Electricity Distribution Service, Final Report.” October 30, 2017. Study conducted in preparation of CMP’s electricity distribution rate case.
“A Review of Southern Company’s Reserve Margin Methodology and Capacity Worth Factor Approach”. Prepared for Southern Company, October 9, 2017.
“Review of Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s Marginal Cost Study and Application to Residential TOU Rates”. November 27, 2016.
“Marginal Costs, Revenue Reconciliation and Rate Design for Net Metering Customers”, Before the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, Rebuttal Testimony. In the Matter of the Application of Sierra Pacific Power Company d/a/a NV Energy for Authority to Reform Rates for Electric Utility Service in 2016 General Rate Case. October 31, 2016
“Fixed Charges, Marginal Cost Study and Rate Design Policy”. Before the Public Utilities Commission of the State of Minnesota, Rebuttal Testimony. In the Matter of the Application of Otter Tail Power Company for Authority to Increase Rates for Electric Utility Service in Minnesota, September 12, 2016.
“NYSEG and RG&E, Use of Marginal Cost of Service Study” Before the New York State Public Service Commission, Rebuttal Testimony in the Context of New York PSC´s REV Initiative”, October 2015.
“Rochester Gas & Electric Corporation, Electricity and Natural Gas Marginal Cost of Service Studies” Before the New York State Public Service Commission, Direct Testimony June 2015.
“Review of SRP Proposed Residential Customer Generation Price Plan”, Before the Salt River Project Board of Directors, Report and Presentation, February 2015.
“Review of Alternative Application of the Peaker Method Proposed by EPCOR USA North Carolina LLC with respect to Computation of Avoided Energy and Capacity Costs”, Before the State of North Carolina Utilities Commission, Testimony. July 23, 2010.
“Making a Business of Energy Efficiency: Sustainable Business Models for Utilities”. Sponsored by Edison Electric Institute, August 2007.
“Responding to EPAct 2005: Looking at Smart Meters for Electricity, Time-Based Rate Structures, and Net Metering”. Sponsored by Edison Electric Institute, May 2006.