New IRP highlights wind, efficiency, small carbon footprint   

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Today Avista filed its Electric Integrated Resource Plan (IRP)  in Washington and Idaho. The IRP tells the states how we plan to generate or obtain needed electricity for customers for the next 20 years. We file an updated plan every two years.

As you might expect, the plan is highlighted by wind. We’re looking at up to 150 megawatts of wind by the end of 2012 to take advantage of renewable energy tax incentives, diversify Avista’s resource mix and meet renewable portfolio standards. An example of a renewable standard is Washington’s I-937, an initiative passed by Washington voters in November 2006 that requires utilities to have 15 percent of their load served by new renewable energy by 2020.

We’re also planning aggressive energy efficiency measures to reduce generation requirements by 26 percent or 339 megawatts. (One megawatt is enough electricity to power roughly 750 homes.) See our Utility 101 post on megawatts.

We’ll continue upgrades on our transmission system and hydroelectric projects to get the most out of those resources.

“We continue to obtain new resources in a responsible and environmentally sound manner so that we can provide clean, reliable and cost effective energy for our customers,” said Avista Utilities President Dennis Vermillion, in today’s news release. Read the release here.

Finding that perfect mix of resources that meets our regulatory obligations (such as I-937) and increasing customer demand, while also keeping prices as fair as possible is at the heart of our planning. I know a lot of work goes into building this plan, but I wouldn’t expect anything less. Meeting increasing customer demand for electricity is not a simple prospect.

If you have any questions about our planning, drop us a line in the comment section and we’ll find the answer for you.
 
Posted by  System Account  on  8/31/2009
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