Nov 27 , 2013
 
Posted by Jessie Wuerst
 
It’s part of our DNA...sharing our time, talent and treasure with those most in need in the communities Avista serves. This year is no exception.

The bright smiling face of KREM2’s Tom Sherry can only be matched by the warmth and thankfulness of those who receive Thanksgiving dinners during the annual Tom’s Turkey Drive each year.

Avista employees and the Avista Credit Union donated $8,900 which was matched by the Avista Foundation for a total donation of $17,800. These funds help provide approximately 11,000 meals – the goal for this year. That amount would feed 40,000 – 50,000 people (based on 4-6 servings per meal). Avista’s total donation will pay for 890 meals, thus feeding 3,600 to 5,300 individuals.

Avista’s history with Tom’s Turkey Drive dates back to the very beginning. Avista was one of the first companies to join with Sherry in this annual event. Once we were on board, other companies wanted to join, too. It’s a program that aligns with Avista’s strategy of supporting community vitality.

On another giving front, Avista employees helped sort and distribute thousands of items to help Spokane community members stay warm through Project Warm-Up. The program provides thousands of knitted, crocheted and sewn items for those in need through 51 non-profit agencies. Since the program began in 1991, more than 100,000 items have been distributed.
 
Earlier this month our employees helped sort, count and prepare thousands of items for distribution. They enjoyed seeing all of the items created by more than 200 talented volunteers. The youngest volunteer is an 8-year-old great-granddaughter of a senior volunteer, while the oldest is 98, according to the Project Warm Program Coordinator, Teri Wallace.

The majority of crafters are housebound and Project Warm-Up is their way of being able to give back to the community from their home. Knowing they are helping someone in need gives the volunteers a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Other volunteers are people who live in retirement apartment complexes or assisted living facilities, are high school-aged individuals who are fulfilling a community service requirement or even younger who participate just for the fun of it.
 
Project Warm-Up is one of the many community programs that Avista staff enthusiastically gives their time and energy to support. Over a three-day period, Avista staff loaded, sorted, counted, and delivered 7,800 items that had been stored in our Post Street facility all year.
 
During this holiday season, we are warmed by the giving spirit our employees demonstrate in so many ways.
 
 
 
Published: 11/27/2013  10:38 AM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Nov 14 , 2013
 
 
 
When you think about historic structures in our region that have undergone important restoration, buildings like The Davenport Hotel, Fox Theater or the Steam Plant might come to mind.
Next year, one of Avista’s historic facilities will be given a much-needed facelift as well.
 
Built in 1906, the South Channel Dam at the Post Falls Hydroelectric Development (HED) is more than 100 years old. While it’s stood the test of time, we plan to continue the safe and reliable operation of the facility with an extensive restoration and upgrade beginning in spring 2014. Work is scheduled to be completed by December 2014.
 
The structure’s original facing concrete and gate frames, as well as the gates and manual rack and pinion hoists will be removed and replaced with new facing concrete, automated spillway gates and hoists.  The improvements will preserve the life of the 106-year-old structure and automation will improve operation efficiencies.
 
During construction the project will affect some areas of Q’emiln Park. To maintain public safety, access to areas including the boat launch, trailhead and pavilion will be impacted. The west entrance road and adjacent portion of the park will be an active construction site with material, equipment and vehicles in the area. More information on the impact will be known after a contractor is selected in January 2014.
 
It’s easy to stay up-to-date on project information and impacts. Just send us an email at SpokaneRiverNews@avistacorp.com and you will be added to the distribution list for our e-newsletter. Be sure to type "Post Falls Updates" in the subject line and include your name and email address in the body text. You can also get timely project information, including the project fact sheet on our Website.
 
The Post Falls HED has been a key to helping Avista produce clean, renewable, low-cost power and it creates recreational opportunities like boating and swimming near Q’emiln Park.
 
Made up of three dams in the area, the Post Falls HED produces 15 megawatts of clean energy – that’s enough to power 11,250 homes – and helps control water levels of Lake Coeur d’Alene during the summer recreation season.

 
Published: 11/14/2013  2:24 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Nov 08 , 2013
 
 
Avista recently announced it has signed an agreement to acquire Alaska Energy and Resources Company (AERC), which includes its primary subsidiary Alaska Electric Light and Power Company (AEL&P), which is the sole electric services provider for Juneau, the state capital of Alaska.

When the transaction is complete AERC will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Avista Corp. The transaction, pending regulatory approvals is not expected to be completed until mid-year 2014. The $170 million purchase price will be funded through the issuance of Avista common stock to the shareholders of AERC. Read the news release.

“AEL&P’s 120-year culture of service and community partnership is a great long-term fit with Avista Corp. We have found AEL&P to have similar cultural values and focus on providing safe, reliable service from clean, renewable energy sources that Avista has held dear for nearly 125 years. We look forward to working with their highly skilled and dedicated management and employees, and to being part of the Juneau community,” said Avista Corp. Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Morris. “This agreement reflects Avista’s strategy to expand and diversify energy assets and deliver long-term value to the customers, communities and investors we serve.”
 
Since there is no plan to merge Avista Utilities and AEL&P’s utility operations, customers in Washington, Oregon and Idaho won’t see any big changes.
 
This isn’t the first time Avista has acquired a utility or utility properties. In the early ‘90s Avista (WWP) acquired CP National’s Oregon and California properties. This provided the basis for our Oregon operations today. And in 1994, Avista acquired PacifiCorp’s Northern Idaho electric properties, which included Sandpoint, Idaho.
 
Published: 11/8/2013  2:34 PM | 1  Comment | 0  Links to this post