L. E. Peabody & Associates, Inc. (1987 to 1997, 2013 to present) – Mr. Despard has over 25 years of experience solving economic and marketing challenges related to electric generating assets. He has experience studying and modeling energy markets and regulatory policy for electric utilities and independent power producers. Mr. Despard has submitted testimony in cases before the STB and the Interstate Commerce Commission and has been involved in settlement proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Mr. Despard has been involved with optimizing value around electric generating assets both as a consultant and as a manager, having assessed and managed value around coal-fired generation and natural gas-fired generation. He has specific experience with, and held oversight responsibility for unit bidding and dispatch, trading, origination, fuel supply and transportation, contract management, regulatory affairs and strategic analysis. His experience covers a number of regions including MISO, PJM, NYISO, ISO-NE and CASIO. He has relied on his unique combination of commercial and analysis acumen over the years to perform various activities, including asset value and risk assessments, power and fuel contract structuring and negotiations, portfolio hedging strategies, policy impact analyses and budget forecasting. Mr. Despard has also led economic studies of power asset options available for meeting compliance with existing and potential SO2, NOX and CO2 emissions requirements.
As an economic consultant, Mr. Despard provided electric utilities with coal supply and coal transportation contract valuation, structuring and negotiation support through the modeling of contract value and risk. He also assessed coal and natural gas markets for electric utility clients. In addition, he supported electric utilities and petrochemical companies in litigation through the economic valuation of fuel supply agreements, rail transportation contracts and regulatory standards. To assess markets and asset values, Mr. Despard relies on various analytical techniques including discounted cash flow, stochastic modeling, trending analysis and price forecasting.
Previous Related Experience -- Prior to rejoining L.E. Peabody & Associates, Mr. Despard was Vice President, Asset Management at Dynegy, Inc. where he managed commercial staff with responsibility for optimizing gross margin from up to 4,000 MW of electric generation assets, including base load coal, natural gas combined-cycle and natural gas peaking assets. His key responsibilities included meeting profitability targets for the portfolio of generating assets through asset optimization and hedging, reporting region profits/losses to senior management, identifying and implementing strategic actions to increase long-term asset values and monitoring/interpreting regulatory policy impacts on profitability. Prior to his work at Dynegy, Mr. Despard was Manager, Financial Analysis at Tennessee Valley Authority (“TVA”), where he managed a team of analysts within the CFO organization that supported corporate decision making through financial analysis of contracts, assets and capital additions. As a fuel supply analyst at TVA, he supported natural gas procurement with evaluation of markets for supply and pipeline transport.
Mr. Despard earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics with a minor in Decision Sciences from George Mason University in 1989.