Avista is looking for new renewable energy projects to add to its portfolio.
It will be one of the utilities in Washington required, by the year 2045, to create electricity using only sources considered to be “green.”
“This request for proposals, this RFP, is really a step that we’re taking in support of those goals that we’ve established to go out to the market and solicit interest from developers of renewable energy, find out what the pricing is for that energy and see how that could fit into our portfolio going forward," said Jason Thackston, Avista's senior vice president of energy resources.
Thackston says Avista is open to existing projects, such as wind and solar, or new projects on the drawing board, including hydro, biomass and geothermal.
“What we’re seeing right now is that there are certain tax benefits and opportunities for renewable energy projects that third-party developers are able to take advantage of in ways that sometimes ways that the utility cannot take advantage of," he said. "What that means for us is that, by partnering with a third-party developer, they can take advantage of those tax benefits. We’re able to pass those savings associated with the tax benefits through lower pricing for our customers.”
He says, because of the state mandate, other utilities are out looking for the same things, which could spur energy companies to create new proposals. He says Avista is looking for long-term leasing options and it may also consider creating its own projects.
Avista has also committed to provide electricity from 100-percent carbon neutral resources by 2027.