Avista awarded smart grid stimulus funding    


Smart Grid graphic
This morning, when I got into the office it was still just getting light outside. There was a buzz about the place and I didn’t know why. We’re just like any office, some days are more exciting than others – but today seemed special. A lot of conversations in the halls and happy faces. So, when I opened up my e-mail and found out that Avista had been selected to receive a federal matching grant worth about $20 million for smart grid work, I knew why the tone in the office was so jubilant.

This is very cool news and will give us the opportunity to upgrade a fair amount of our electric line feeder system (improving reliability for your service), lessen the impact on rates (by getting matching funds), create green jobs for our region (could be around 45 jobs), save energy (through efficiency improvements) and serve as an example for other utilities (because we’ve been doing work like this for more than 100 years).

Specifically, the project will include installation of modern equipment and software to enable smart grid capabilities and increase reliability and efficiency.

We originally applied for funds for this project last summer. Read the August 4 blog post, “Smart grid details: Spokane’s smart circuits.” Given that this is only October, the stimulus funds process is moving at a rapid pace and we expect to start the feeder upgrade work by the end of this year. The whole project is expected to take 36 months to complete.

Learn more about the stimulus funding award in our news release.
Posted by  System Account  on  10/27/2009
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