Courtesy of National Weather Service

The National Weather Service says high winds Monday evening downed power lines and trees.

Forecasters say winds blew in the 45-to-60 mile-an-hour range with a peak gust of 72 miles per hour at Athol, north of Coeur d'Alene. The Coeur d'Alene airport recorded a peak gust of 61 mph.

Avista Plans To Boost Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

Aug 9, 2021
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

President Biden wants half of all new cars sold in the U.S. by 2030 to be powered by electricity. That gives the country nine years to scale up its infrastructure to support millions more electric vehicles.

In Spokane, Avista is developing that infrastructure.

Power Outages Likely To Continue Through Heat Wave

Jun 29, 2021
Avista Utilities

Power outages caused by the record-breaking heat wave could continue for the rest of the week, as high electric use and hot conditions strain the Inland Northwest’s power grid.

Courtesy of National Weather Service

Spokane has broken its all-time record high temperature. At 4 pm the National Weather Service reported the temperature at its Spokane International Airport facility had reached 109.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Spokane’s Catalyst Building at the south end of the University District received a visit Tuesday from an eager and interested state official, Washington Governor Jay Inslee.

The building is known for its main building material, cross-laminated timber, and its energy efficiency.

High Winds Cause Outages Throughout Inland Northwest

Apr 18, 2021
Screenshot from Avista outage map

UPDATED Mon. 10:30 am: Avista has crews all over the region, fixing power outages. It reports about 1,000 hundred people still without power in the Spokane and Kootenai County.

Screenshot from Washington Department of Transportation

As of Monday, 3/29 at 1:30 pm

Avista:  1,200 customers
Kootenai Electric Cooperative: 220 customers 

Strong winds blew dust through eastern Washington Sunday, causing the closure of Interstate 90 between Ritzville and Moses Lake from Sunday afternoon until about 9:30 pm.

More than 17,000 people had lost power around the region by Sunday night.

High Winds, Some Power Outages Expected Monday Night

Feb 22, 2021
Courtesy of the National Weather Service

Some residents across the greater Spokane region could lose power late this afternoon and tonight as strong winds hit the area.

The National Weather Service issued an advisory Monday warning winds could be around 20 to 30 miles per hour with gusts as high as 50 miles per an hour. The warning is in effect for the area ranging from Spokane to Moses Lake and South to Walla Walla.

Work Resumes To Restore Power To Thousands

Jan 13, 2021
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Crews from the region's utilities are back at it this morning [Thursday], working to restore power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses in eastern Washington and northern Idaho.

Avista says Wednesday’s windstorm caused at least 1,600 outages in its service territory, knocking out electricity to about 70,000 customers. As of this morning, the utility says more than 45,000 are still not connected.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Utility crews around the Inland Northwest worked overnight to restore power to tens of thousands of customers after heavy snow fell around the region.

More than 5,000 Avista customers remained without electricity on Saturday morning in the Spokane area, other parts of northeastern Washington and northern Idaho. Inland Power reported about 1,000 homes without power, mostly in Spokane County. Northern Lights was working only a handful of outages affecting a few dozen customers.

Groundbreaking New Building Opens Near Downtown Spokane

Sep 17, 2020
Courtesy of Katerra

 The partners involved in creating the new Catalyst building just east of downtown Spokane celebrated a virtual grand opening ceremony today [Thursday].

The building will anchor what is now called the South Landing Eco-District neighborhood, near the southern terminus of the Gateway Bridge in the University District. It will soon house several Eastern Washington University programs.


The wildfire season is relatively quiet right in the Inland Northwest. Crews over the weekend announced they had fully contained three fires in eastern. A handful of fires started last week when conditions were optimum for new fire starts, but crews were able to get on them quickly.

Still, things could erupt at any time and, as a result, Avista says it has recently made some seasonal changes to reduce the chance its power system causes fires.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

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.”

Steve Jackson photo.

Avista has been adjusting its dam operations on the Spokane River to accommodate the seasonal flow this spring. It's one part optimizing power generation, and one part fine tuning the water level.

P.primo at English Wikipedia

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission has reached a partial settlement with Avista for a rate increase in gas and electricity rates.

The settlement also deals with the company’s plans to phase out coal-generated power for its Washington customers.

Photo by Leona Vander Molen

Mayoral candidate Nadine Woodward says she opposes the city of Spokane’s renewable energy goal .

Avista Utilties supported the city on the goal of getting 100% of its electricity from renewable resources by the year 2030.

But Woodward told SPR that, in an unpublished study, Avista found that such a plan would be expensive for citizens.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

A Washington state commission says Avista is on its way to meeting its renewable energy goals for the year, as required by state law.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

With summer now officially here, Avista and the Spokane County sheriff’s office are reminding people to be careful on the water this summer.

Deputy Jim Ebel coordinates the marine enforcement division for the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. He says local ordinances require people who use the Spokane River  to wear life jackets. But he says only about half do.


Today on the Inland Journal podcast, we talk with retiring Avista CEO Scott Morris. In October, Morris will hand over the top job in the company to Avista President Dennis Vermillion and become the non-executive chairman of Avista’s board until next March. Then he’ll leave the company.

Scott Morris To Retire As Avista CEO

May 13, 2019

Scott Morris, Avista’s chief executive officer, is retiring from the company, effective next spring. He will be replaced as CEO on October 1 by Avista’s president, Dennis Vermillion.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

The Washington Senate has approved a bill that its supporters call the 100% clean electricity bill.

The 29-to-20 vote on Monday includes changes made to the bill by the House of Representatives.

It would require utilities to eliminate coal from their electrical generating portfolios by 2025. It also sets 2045 as the deadline by which all of their generation must use non-carbon emitting and renewable resources.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Thursday on the Inland Journal podcast, Avista announces it will begin installing new ‘smart meters’ that will allow it to more quickly measure how its customers use energy. “Ask an Evangelical”: we talk with a man who identifies as evangelical about his views on immigration. And will this late blast of snow extend the ski season in the Inland Northwest? We’ll get the view from the Lookout Pass ski area.

Avista To Begin Installing 'Smart Meters' Next Week

Feb 27, 2019
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Avista says it will begin installing new gas and electric meters at homes and businesses throughout its service area next week.

Heather Rosentrater, the vice president for energy delivery at Avista, says the so-called “smart meters” will allow the utility to more quickly and accurately measure how its customers use energy.

Inland Journal, February 22, 2019 Podcast: Climate Change

Feb 22, 2019
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Today on the Inland Journal podcast, environmental groups are asking the Washington legislature to adopt firm timelines to wean the state from fossil fuels. We’ll get two views: from a member of the 350 Spokane group, which is lobbying for the  bill, and a lobbyist for Avista. And we’ll meet a Maryland researcher who has created a map that projects what local climates like ours will be like in 2080.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Thursday on the Inland Journal podcast, we’ll look at electric cars and how Northwest utilities and states are progressing in creating public infrastructure to charge them. We’ll talk with a Kettle Falls man about his experience leasing an electric car. We’ll talk with a representative from Avista about incentives for businesses and others to create charging stations. And we’ll hear excerpts from an Idaho legislative hearing about electric vehicles.

Avista, Hydro One Call Off Merger

Jan 23, 2019

Avista and Hydro One have announced they’re terminating their agreement to merge. This comes after a series of regulatory rulings that went against the proposed acquisition.

Carbon Emissions Bill Gets Washington Senate Hearing

Jan 17, 2019
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Climate change and ways to combat it were in the spotlight of a Washington state Senate hearing today [Thursday]. People from a wide variety of interest groups testified on a bill that sets timetables for moving the state to so-called “clean energy” sources. Governor Jay Inslee requested the bill and 17 Democrats have co-sponsored it.


Washington utility regulators have dealt another blow to Avista’s proposed merger with Hydro One, the Canadian electrical transmission and distribution utility.

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission issued a statement Tuesday morning that said it would take no action on the two companies’ request that the agency reconsider its earlier ruling.

Idaho Commission Rejects Avista-Hydro One Merger

Jan 3, 2019

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has denied a request by Avista to be acquired by the Canadian transmission company Hydro One.

The order released today [Thursday] comes a month after Washington’s Utilities and Transportation Commission ruled against the acquisition.

Washington Utility Regulators Deny Hydro One Acquisition of Avista

Dec 5, 2018

UPDATED with a comment from Avista.

Washington utility regulators say the Canadian utility Hydro One may not acquire the Spokane-based utility Avista. In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, the Utilities and Transportation Commission said "the proposed merger does not serve the public interest."