Avista Utilities

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

The drought conditions in the Inland Northwest are changing the way Avista manages the Spokane River system this summer.

The utility has announced that, due to lower-than-normal water levels in Lake Coeur d’Alene, it plans to release less water through its Post Falls Dam.

Avista Buys Power From New Adams County Wind Farm

Dec 15, 2020
Courtesy of Clearway Group/Avista

Avista has signed a 20-year agreement to buy power from a new commercial wind-generation project in central Washington.

The Rattlesnake Flat project is owned by the Clearway Energy Group of San Francisco, which installed 57 turbines on farm land in central Adams County.

Washington Department of Natural Resources

Washington's Department of Transportation has reopened several highways that have been closed much of the day due to blowing dust from fields and wildfire smoke.

Interstate 90 from Ritzville to the Grant County line and U.S. 395 from Ritzville's junction with I-90 have now reopened after being closed for several hours. Also in the area, State Routes 21 and 261 are now open to traffic.

Solar, Wind Becoming More Common In Inland Northwest

Dec 11, 2018
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

The group Environment Washington released a report Tuesday that shows Washington and Idaho are fully participating in the growth of renewable energy sources in the U.S.

It’s not just hydro power. Idaho is 18th in the nation for wind and solar; 12 1/2% of its electricity is produced by those two sources. Washington ranks 23rd at about 8 1/2%. Those numbers come from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Wind and solar are becoming more common in the Inland Northwest too.

Avista To Install New "Smart Meters" in Homes, Businesses

May 21, 2018
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Imagine using your smart phone to check in on how much energy your home or business are using. Avista says that will be possible with a new two-year project to install new “smart” meters and sensors for all of its Washington customers.

Avista, Hydro One File Settlement Agreement in Olympia

Mar 27, 2018

Spokane’s Avista Utilities and its proposed merger partner, Hydro One of Toronto, announced they’ve filed a settlement agreement with Washington state utility regulators.

The two utilities filed their paperwork Tuesday with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Last week Avista announced plans to create what it calls its Catalyst Building along East Sprague in Spokane’s University District. It’s a facility the company hopes will drive economic development in the district. It will be a state-of-the-art building in terms of energy, with solar panels on the roof, to reduce or eliminate its need for outside power.

As part of that, the Catalyst Building is also expected to serve as the first piece of something called an "eco district."

Avista Announces New Catalyst Building In U-District

Feb 6, 2018
Doug Nadvornick/SPR/Michael Green Architects

This week Avista announced it plans to create what it calls its Catalyst building along East Sprague in Spokane’s University District.

The building’s name is apt because Avista hopes it will become a catalyst on several levels.


Avista crews are making progress on outages near Colville and Sandpoint.

Heavy snow is breaking tree limbs and knocking down power lines in Bonner and Stevens Counties.

Inland Journal, Nov. 30, 2017

Nov 30, 2017

Inland Journal for November 30, 2017

This week on Inland Journal:

    ▪    Avista CEO Scott Morris will talk with Steve Jackson about the utility’s acquisition by the Canadian power distribution company Hydro One.
    ▪    We’ll look at the challenges involved in addressing lead health issues in north Idaho’s Silver Valley. Blood lead levels have gone down dramatically in children, but some believe more needs to be done, especially for adults who believe their health problems are related to their exposure to lead in the valley as children.
    ▪    And we’ll talk with former SPR political commentator Robert Herold, who has just written a book featuring some of the political essays he’s written for The Inlander over more than 20 years.

Scott Morris Talks About Avista-Hydro One Merger

Nov 30, 2017

Last week, Avista’s board of directors voted to move ahead and allow the Canadian company Hydro One to obtain the longtime Spokane utility. Spokane Public Radio’s Steve Jackson brought Avista President and CEO Scott Morris into the studio to talk about what that means for ratepayers.

Avista Shareholders Approve Acquisition by Hydro One

Nov 21, 2017

Avista has announced its shareholders have approved the utility company’s acquisition by the Canadian company Hydro One.

According to an Avista press release, the vote was nearly unanimous, with shareholders representing nearly 80% of Avista’s outstanding stock casting ballots.

Inland Journal, August 10, 2017

Aug 10, 2017

This week on Inland Journal...
    ▪    We talk with a Chelan state legislator about regulating marijuana in Washington. With Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions sparring over the state's pot law enforcement, Republican Representative Cary Condotta says the state is actually doing a good job regulating reefer.
    ▪    We’ll report on a dilemma for liquor retailers in Washington that want to create their own ‘private labels’. Some retailers, such as Costco and Fred Meyer, have been selling their brands, but they’re technically illegal. We’ll look into the situation.
    ▪    We'll learn how new sensors installed on power poles around Spokane are helping researchers learn about air pollution, including wildfire smoke, in the city.
    ▪    And Austin Jenkins from the Northwest News Network will tell us about an upcoming rape trial involving a former top official from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, with allegations that the work culture in one part of the agency was toxic for women.

Inland Journal, April 6, 2017

Apr 6, 2017

Inland Journal for April 6, 2017

    ▪    We’ll talk with one environmental organization that is supporting efforts in Washington’s legislature to include logging as a way to reduce wildfire risk. It’s even cutting on its own land.
    ▪    We'll learn more Avista’s work to build a network of electric vehicle charging sites in the Inland Northwest.
    ▪    We'll talk with a St. Maries, Idaho man who helps weather forecasters keep an eye on flooding of the St. Joe River.
    ▪    Austin Jenkins from the Northwest News Network reports on a project that shows Washington legislative leaders aren’t eager to share their email messages with the public.
    ▪    Celebrating books and food Saturday in Pullman

Mary Tyrie/Avista

So you’ve done the environmentally-friendly thing and bought an electric car because you don’t want to spew greenhouse gases all over your community. What happens when you need to fill up, so to speak? You don’t find electric charging stations on every street corner.

State Farm via flickr

Officials with Avista Utilities in Spokane say they hope to have almost all customers’ power restored in Spokane before Thanksgiving day after a storm packing winds as high as 71mph hit the city last Tuesday.

Phillips Lumec at http://www.lumec.com/

Avista Utilities has begun a program of replacing old style street lights in Spokane with new state of the art LED lights, in an effort to cut power consumption. But the new lights have left some customers dazzled by the brightness of the new fixtures. 


Slowly - too slowly for the naked eye to discern - Lake Coeur d'Alene is shrinking, dropping below the normal summertime lake-full level. And that puts Avista Utilities in a bind.

New Wetlands May Grow From Old Logs

Jun 10, 2015

It may sound odd to think of restoring a vital wetlands on Lake Pend Oreille by throwing old logs, tree limbs and dirt into it. But that's what government agencies and volunteers are doing in the rapidly disappearing Clark Fork River delta.

To Keep Lake Full, River Reduced to a Trickle

Jun 7, 2015

Even before the advent of what promises to be a long, hot, dry summer, Avista is already in the midst of a delicate balancing act, trying to keep Lake Coeur d'Alene full while feeding the Spokane River.

A symposium on 'smart grid technology' was held in Spokane this week. Lawmakers, power companies, and business leaders met at the Davenport hotel for the Smart Grid Demonstration Project Regional Symposium to discuss the future of the regions power grid, and how it can become a 'smart grid'.

Senate Committee Strips Coal-Fired Plant Bill

Feb 20, 2015
Avista Utilities: http://www.avistautilities.com/inside/resources/Pages/default.aspx

A state senate committee took unique action Thursday on a bill supported by Avista and two other utility companies in Washington. The Senate’s Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee stripped the bill of all its language and voted to pass the bill’s title. It suggests the committee supported the idea but wanted an overhaul on the language.

Bruce Howard is Avista’s Director of Environmental Affairs.

Howard: “It would allow Washington utilities to acquire additional ownership interest in coal plants, to really facilitate early closure.”

Sierra Club Asks Avista to Move ‘Beyond Coal’

Feb 18, 2015
Jace Bylenga, Sierra Club

The Sierra Club delivered boxes of petitions on Wednesday to Avista Utilities in Spokane. The environmental group is asking Avista to replace coal power with sustainable energy.

It’s a busy year for Avista Utilities as the company is making some major infrastructure upgrades. Avista Utilities has operated several dams on the Spokane River for a long time now; in fact some are over a hundred years old. Despite their age, many still use machines and systems dating back to their beginning.

Now the company is taking some big steps to improve those systems. At the Post falls dam, they are updating the century-old south channel spillway. At Nine Mile dam, the company is putting in two new turbines that will have vastly improved power generation.

Avista Utilities has made its final yearly proposals to the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, UTC. Beside normal rate adjustments, another request will give customers rebates some years, and surcharges in others.

Governments Merge At Annual Fairgrounds Meeting

Sep 5, 2014

Friday was the annual get-together of mayors, city council members, and other key players in Spokane County. The Council of Governments meeting at the fair grounds focused on economy, military, and local transportation. In summary, officials made optimistic predictions for the year to come.

The commander of Fairchild’s refueling wing, Colonel Charles McDaniel, says he is still set on bringing the Air Force’s new KC-46 tanker to Fairchild. He says there’s also discussion about bringing the water survival course to Fairchild.

Day After Storm, Update From Spokane

Jul 24, 2014

Of the roughly 70,000 customers who lost power in the Inland Northwest Wednesday, about 20,000 homes and business are still in the dark. Even with all available crews at work, that’s the combined total from Avista Utilities and Inland Power and Light.

Sun, Crowd, and Music for New City Hall Plaza

May 2, 2014


Avista Utilities celebrated its 125th anniversary by building Spokane a new City Hall Plaza, and sprucing up the adjacent Huntington Park. Paige Browning reports on the celebration at city hall on Friday. At Avista’s celebration, there was sun, a big crowd, and live music. Local teenage band Acuff and Sherfey played to the crowd outside city hall, where people gathered for the first time at the new plaza.

The city of Spokane holds a groundbreaking Friday for a building centered on garbage trucks, plows, and other fleet. The new Nelson Service Center will be a one-stop shop for city fleet. Its primary roles will be as the home of solid waste management, i.e. garbage trucks, and as a fleet maintenance facility.