Plan sets course for clean energy future
SPOKANE, Wash., Feb. 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Avista Utilities, an operating division of Avista Corp. (AVA), is planning to reduce carbon-emitting resources from its portfolio in alignment with the company’s clean electricity goal announced in 2019. In its 2020 Electric Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) filed today with the Idaho Public Utility Commission, Avista is projecting a much cleaner generation mix.
“This IRP reflects a significant reduction in fossil fuel generation for our customers,” said Jason Thackston, Avista’s senior vice president of energy resources. “Avista’s electric generation mix is already more than half renewable, making our emissions some of the lowest in the nation. Looking to the next 25 years, we believe our goal of 100 percent clean energy is possible. We are proactively building a dynamic, clean energy mix that is reliable and affordable.”
Avista typically files its Electric IRP in both Washington and Idaho. However, because of the passage of the Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA), the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission is currently in the rulemaking process that will impact the IRP. Rulemaking is expected to be complete by the end of the year. While this IRP is not an official filing in Washington, it will be filed as an advisory report of Avista’s ongoing resource planning efforts.
Avista is modeling a future that reflects both CETA requirements and its own clean electricity goals. Last year, Avista announced its goal to serve its customers with 100 percent clean electricity by 2045 and to have a carbon-neutral supply of electricity by the end of 2027.
The 2020 IRP has a larger portfolio of new resources than in previous IRPs. A combination of new wind, storage and demand response is planned to replace coal and some natural gas-fired generation by 2026. Avista will continue to maintain its existing clean hydropower and biomass plants and look for opportunities for upgrades. Avista anticipates customer load growth of 0.3 percent, replacing the 0.5 percent projected growth in the 2017 IRP.
Some highlights of the 2020 IRP include:
- The resource strategy in this IRP projects 2030 greenhouse gas emissions will be about 80 percent below 2018 levels.
- In total, Avista estimates adding 300 MW of new wind generation by 2023 and an additional 200 MW by 2027.
- Energy efficiency meets 71 percent of new load growth compared to 53 percent in the 2017 IRP.
Each IRP is a thoroughly researched and data-driven document identifying a resource strategy to meet customer needs while balancing costs and risk measures with environmental goals and mandates. Avista’s professional energy analysts use sophisticated modeling tools and input from over 75 participants to develop each plan. The participants in the public process include customers, environmental organizations and business groups, elected officials and utility commission staff. Avista typically does not forecast beyond 20 years, but given the clean energy goals and mandates, it was determined that modeling resources 25 years in the future had merit. The plan is typically updated every two years.
More information on Avista’s diverse energy mix and the IRP is available at myavista.com/IRP.
About Avista Utilities
Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is our operating division that provides electric service to 393,000 customers and natural gas to 361,000 customers. Our service territory covers 30,000 square miles in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, with a population of 1.7 million. AERC is an Avista subsidiary that, through its subsidiary AEL&P, provides retail electric service to 17,000 customers in the city and borough of Juneau, Alaska. Our stock is traded under the ticker symbol “AVA”. For more information about Avista, please visit www.avistacorp.com.
Avista Corp. and the Avista Corp. logo are trademarks of Avista Corporation.
This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding the company’s current expectations. Forward-looking statements are all statements other than historical facts. Such statements speak only as of the date of the news release and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the company’s control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations. These risks and uncertainties include, in addition to those discussed herein, all of the factors discussed in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2019.
SOURCE: Avista Corporation
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