Avista chooses First Wind’s Palouse wind project for power purchase agreement

Spokane, Wash., June 30, 2011 Avista, through a request for proposals issued in February 2011, has selected to purchase power generated by the proposed Palouse wind project in Whitman County, Washington.

Palouse Wind, a wind energy facility permitted and being developed by First Wind, an independent U.S.-based wind energy company, will provide Avista with more than 40 MW of renewable energy, or as much as 100 MW of nameplate wind capacity, under a 30-year power purchase agreement with deliveries beginning in 2012.

The energy qualifies under Washington State’s Energy Independence Act to meet Avista’s Washington State-mandated renewable portfolio standard requirements. Avista expects to recover the cost of the power purchased through retail rates.

Avista balances the need to secure enough energy to meet customers’ needs with the costs of new resources, while satisfying renewable portfolio standards, both in the near and long term.

To comply with renewable portfolio standards detailed in Washington’s Energy Independence Act, Avista must acquire the output from eligible renewable resources, purchase qualifying renewable energy credits, or a combination of both, to meet the following annual targets: 3 percent of energy used to meet customer demand by Jan. 1, 2012, 9 percent by Jan. 1, 2016 and 15 percent by Jan. 1, 2020.

To meet the 2012 targets, Avista has added qualifying renewable generation capacity with upgrades at its hydroelectric projects and purchased RECs. The power purchased from Palouse Wind is expected to satisfy Avista’s RPS requirements for 2016.

The wind farm will be the largest renewable energy facility in Whitman County with the capacity to generate enough clean, renewable energy to power about 30,000 of Avista’s customers’ homes. Situated on private land between the town of Oakesdale and State Route 195, Palouse Wind’s orientation and elevation is ideally located to capture the prevailing southwest wind.

Palouse Wind will tie into Avista’s electric system via Avista’s Benewah/Shawnee transmission line.

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