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Avista Brings More Solar Power in Washington, Cuts Emission

Avista Corp.’s AVA commercial solar program, Solar Select is leading to more solar power generation in Washington. The Adam Nielson solar array, located in Lind, WA, consists of 81,700 panels that span 200 acres. The 28-MW (DC) solar project will be capable enough to meet the demand from 4,000 homes annually. The project is also expected to deliver the environmental benefit equivalent of more than 7,300 cars removed from the road each year.

Avista has plans to invest $1.24 billion in the 2018-2020 time frame for upgrading and strengthening its existing systems.

Washington Solar Policy

In 2006, Washington passed a Renewable Portfolio Standard (“RPS”) mandating that 15% of the utilities’ electricity production must come from renewable resources by 2020.

In April 2018, Avista introduced its Solar Select Program in Washington to meet large commercial and industrial electric customers’ demand for renewable solar energy. This program will assist the company to produce more electricity from renewable sources and also enable it to meet the RPS goal.

Rising Solar Production Across United States

Per a recent release from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (“EIA”), the U.S. solar generation will rise to 268,000 megawatt hours per day (MWh/d) in 2018 and further to 303,000 MWh/d in 2019 from 212,000 MWh/d in 2017.

The rising awareness against emission and extension of the solar tax credit are leading to the addition of more solar projects in the United States. We expect the solar projects across the United States to improve, and ongoing research and development activities to further bring down the cost of operating utility-scale solar projects.

The solar industry is currently shifting from fixed-tilt solar PV to tracking solar panel systems, which are assisting to generate cleaner power than before.

Companies like Sunrun Inc., RUN and SunPower Corporation SPWR are well poised to gain from the increasing focus to generate electricity from clean sources, amid the new administration’s assistance to pull out the coal industry from difficult times.

Price Movement

Avista has declined 11.9% in a year’s time against its industry’s growth of 0.7%.



Zacks Rank and A Key Pick

Avista currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock from the same industry is Duke Energy Corporation DUK, holding a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Duke Energy surpassed third-quarter earnings estimates by 7.84%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 earnings has moved 0.9% north to $4.74 per share over the past 60 days.

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