Charles River Associates (NASDAQ: CRAI), a worldwide leader in providing management, economic, and financial consulting services, today announced that consultants in the firm’s Energy & Environment Practice assisted the Eastern Interconnection Planning Collaborative (EIPC) with economic consulting and electricity modeling as EIPC completed Phase 1 of an assessment of the potential future needs of the electric transmission infrastructure in the Eastern United States under a variety of different energy policies. The U.S. Department of Energy awarded funding to EIPC to prepare analyses of transmission options for the Eastern Interconnection under a broad range of alternative futures and to develop possible long-term interconnection-wide transmission expansion configurations in response to alternative electricity resource scenarios selected through a stakeholder process. In December 2011, EIPC submitted a first-of-its-kind report entitled “Phase 1 Report: Formation of Stakeholder Process, Regional Plan Integration and Macroeconomic Analysis.” Phase 1, which was completed during 2010 and 2011, consisted of aggregating regional transmission expansion plans, performing interregional analyses, and conducting macroeconomic analyses on eight macroeconomic energy futures and more than 70 sensitivities around those futures. EIPC relied on a consensus based stakeholder process informed by these analyses to formulate three interconnection-wide system expansion scenarios to address policy, regulatory, and commercial questions of interest to stakeholders. CRA provided EIPC with simulation results for all futures and sensitivities using its integrated macroeconomic and electricity models. “CRA is pleased to aid EIPC in providing economic analyses to inform planning analyses of the future U.S. electrical grid,” said CRA's President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Maleh. “Energy economists in our Energy & Environment Practice provided rigorous economic analyses of possible market outcomes, which will help shape discussions of the future energy structure of the Eastern United States. We look forward to working closely with EIPC on Phase 2 of this important infrastructure project.” CRA's project team is led by consultants in the Energy & Environment Practice, including Vice Presidents Ralph Luciani and Aleksandr Rudkevich, and Senior Consultant to CRA Charles Trabandt. Other members of the project team include Barclay Gibbs, Pablo Ruiz, and Jake Zahniser-Word. The report is available on EIPC’s website at: http://www.eipconline.com. During 2012, Phase 2 of EIPC’s project will study potential transmission options to support the three resource scenarios selected by the stakeholders in Phase 1. CRA will provide additional economic consulting and modeling services to EIPC in Phase 2, including production cost modeling. A final Phase 2 report is expected in late 2012.