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Avista (AVA) Brings Additional Wind Power in Washington

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Avista Corporation (AVA - Free Report) has selected Clearway Energy Group’s Rattlesnake Flat Wind Project in Washington to purchase power through a 20-year power purchase agreement.

Per the terms, Clearway Energy Group will provide Avista with nearly 50 average megawatts (“MW”) of renewable energy and initiate deliveries from 2020.

Benefit of the Agreement

Avista operates as an electric as well as natural gas utility company. The company serves 388,000 electric customers and 355,000 natural gas customers as of Feb 2019. It introduced the Integrated Resource Plan in 2017, which can be considered as a roadmap for the company to cater to the energy needs of electric as well as natural gas customers in the next 20 years. The plan enables the utility to consider additional resources acquisitions, if such resources have lower long-term cost than electric market alternatives.  

Along with supporting the Integrated Resource Plan, the new purchase agreement will provide Avista additional renewable energy. This will offset higher priced market purchases and fossil-fuel generation. Since lower usage of fossil-fuel is environmental friendly, renewable generation has been receiving wide acceptance in the past few years.

Rising Wind Across United States

Per a recent release from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (“EIA”), renewable generation provided a new record of 742 million megawatthours (MWh) of electricity in 2018, nearly double from 382 million MWh produced in 2008. Renewables contributed 17.6% of electricity generation in the United States in 2018. Wind generation rose from 55 million MWh in 2008 to 275 million MWh in 2018 and contributed 6.5% to total electricity generation.

Rising awareness regarding emission, federal and state policies as well as declining costs are driving renewable technologies in the United States, particularly in wind and solar. Thus, utilities and corporations are increasingly shifting their focus to renewables. Utility companies like WEC Energy Group, Inc. (WEC - Free Report) , NiSource (NI - Free Report) and Xcel Energy (XEL - Free Report) are focusing on renewable generations or expansions.

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