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In 2010, the Sierra Club filed suit in the United States District Court of the Western District of Wisconsin against Dairyland Power Cooperative (DPC) alleging that they had undertaken modifications at two of their coal-fired facilities that violated the New Source Review (NSR) regulations of the Clean Air Act.

NERA was retained to review and analyze the historical operating data for the coal-fired generating units at issue before and after a set of Sierra Club identified outages, and to determine what effect, if any, the identified work performed during those outages had on the annual production rate for the units at issue.  We were also asked to discuss the practice of system planning, review the Defendant’s approach to system planning, and review the projections of generation that the Defendant had prepared contemporaneously with the outages at issue for these generating units. The NERA team compiled the data necessary to conduct the review and analysis of the operation of the units for the period 1990–2008.

Based on the results of the analysis, NERA prepared an expert report describing the analysis and findings and conclusions. The key findings and conclusions were that over the period of time reviewed, DPC had committed and dispatched its generating fleet to meet the demand of its customers using the principles of economic dispatch and any changes in the operation of the units over the period were explained by changes in system demand or other factors unrelated to the work performed during the identified outages.

The case was scheduled to be heard in October 2011. In April 2011, the case was stayed and DPC and Sierra Club entered settlement discussions.