BOSTON, Dec. 20, 2000 (PRNewswire) — NeuCo, Inc., established by Charles River Associates Incorporated (Nasdaq: CRAI) and Advanced Energy Systems, a subsidiary of NSTAR (NYSE: NST), to commercialize state-of-the-art optimization solutions for the electric power industry, announced today that it has signed a contract to install its ProcessLink™ optimization suite for NOx reduction and fuel efficiency for the largest units at four Orion Power Midwest coal-fired generating stations: Cheswick, Elrama, and New Castle in Pennsylvania, and Avon Lake in Ohio.

Orion Power Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ORN) is an independent electric power generating company formed to acquire, develop, own, and operate power- generating facilities in the newly deregulated wholesale markets throughout the United States and Canada. Since its inception, Orion Power Holdings has invested more than $3 billion in 80 power plants with a total capacity of 5,400 megawatts.

“We chose ProcessLink optimization technology for a number of important reasons, including NeuCo’s impressive track record, ProcessLink’s scaleable design, and its seamless integration with our systemwide data historian,” said Orion Power Midwest General Manager Dan McIntire. “ProcessLink clearly is the best optimization solution for addressing our immediate and longer-term compliance requirements and business objectives.”

The first installation is under way at Orion’s Cheswick plant in Pittsburgh, which is equipped with a 570-MW tangentially fired boiler and a Westinghouse WDPF distributed control system (DCS).

Cheswick Plant Manager Peter DeQuattro stated, “Prior to Orion’s acquisition of the plant, Cheswisk had an unsuccessful experience with an early neural network-based optimization technology incapable of automatically adapting to changing operating conditions. ProcessLink’s proven ability to automatically learn and adapt was a key to Orion’s selection of NeuCo. Orion’s commitment to environmental quality also made it important to invest in a technology platform that can readily be expanded to address additional performance objectives as well as optimize the major new emissions-reduction systems planned for Cheswick, including Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and flue-gas desulfurization (scrubber) systems.”

“We are pleased that major power producers are recognizing ProcessLink as the best choice for integrated optimization of multiple fossil-fired generating units,” said NeuCo President Curt Lefebvre. “We are excited to be working with Orion Power Holdings, which combines the financial orientation of majority owner Goldman Sachs with aggressive plans to expand its fossil-fired asset base in the deregulating U.S. market. Orion has joined a select list of major growth-oriented international power producers using ProcessLink to support their strategic objectives.”

About NeuCo

NeuCo focuses on helping power producers improve profitability and market position through optimized asset performance and is jointly owned by Charles River Associates (Nasdaq: CRAI – news), NSTAR’s (NYSE: NST – news) Advanced Energy Systems, and Babcock-Borsig Power GmbH (BBP). Advanced Energy Systems is the owner of advanced on-site energy facilities that deliver electricity, chilled water, and steam to firms with mission-critical energy needs. BBP is working with NeuCo to fully integrate its current leading-edge performance solutions within ProcessLink to provide the world’s most comprehensive real-time optimization system for fossil-fired electric power generation. Babcock-Borsig Power is one of the largest electric power equipment and engineering companies in the world, providing comprehensive fuel delivery, combustion, steam, turbine, and emissions-mitigation solutions. It is an industry leader in the U.S. and Europe for emissions-reduction technology, and is renowned for its performance engineering as applied to all boiler designs.

About CRA

Founded in 1965, CRA is a provider of sophisticated economic and financial consulting services, expert testimony and litigation support, and business consulting. The firm’s areas of expertise include auctions, antitrust, mergers and acquisitions, policy impact assessments, corporate finance, strategy and business operations, and regulatory economics. CRA has advised legal and corporate clients, government agencies, and other organizations in thousands of engagements. In addition to its corporate headquarters in Boston, CRA has U.S. offices in Berkeley/Oakland, College Station, Los Angeles, Palo Alto, Salt Lake City, and Washington, D.C., as well as international offices in London, Melbourne, Mexico City, Toronto, and Wellington. More information about the Company can be found on its web site at www.crai.com.

SOURCE: Charles River Associates Incorporated