Avista rate request to support investment including hydro

Avista Corp. has filed a rate increase request with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission to fund upgrades to aging infrastructure for system reliability and relicensing of Spokane River hydroelectric projects.

Avista seeks to increase electric revenues by 9.2 percent to produce an additional $36.6 million, and natural gas by 3.3 percent, to produce an additional $6.6 million return. The state regulator generally has up to 11 months in which to review a general rate case filing, Avista said.

Avista Chairman Scott Morris said the capital projects are part of the utility’s multi-year plan to increase efficiency, reliability, and capacity of its aging infrastructure, to meet growing customer demand with responsible energy resources, and to meet new environmental standards.

Costs incurred in the seven-year process to relicense five of Avista’s hydro plants on the Spokane River are included in the rate increase request. Avista said so far it has invested $21 million in relicensing the four-plant, 122.9-MW Spokane River project (No. 2545) and the 14.75-MW Post Falls project (No. 12606) on the Spokane in Washington and Idaho. (HNN 7/26/07)

Upgrades to the 466.2-MW Noxon Rapids development, part of the 735.7-MW Clark Fork hydroelectric project (No. 2058), are among capital investments included in the filing. (HNN 10/30/07) In 2007, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission certified for a production tax credit the 17,040 MWh in incremental generation gained from improvements to Clark Fork’s Cabinet Gorge development. (HNN 2/27/08)

Upgrades to transmission and distribution substations and power lines also are included in the Avista investments.

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