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Posts tagged: Avista

Thursday GSI BizStreet morning discussion features Avista CEO Morris

Scott Morris

 

Avista CEO Scott Morris comes downtown this week, taking part in the Thursday morning GSI-sponsored BizStreet morning session.

The PR material says: “Learn what Avista is doing to serve its customers, maintain an engaged workforce, be strong community partners and attract investors.”

The schedule: coffee and chat: 7:45 a.m.-8 a.m.; program from 8 to 9 a.m.

Location: 801 W Riverside, Suite 100; $25 for GSI members, $50 for others.

Register

Jon Eliassen recalls the contributions to WWP board by the late Gen. Schwarzkopf

Jon Eliassen, the current CEO of Red Lion Hotel Corp., sent us this afternoon his impressions of H. Norman Schwarzkopf's contributions on the Washington Water Power board, from 1993 to 1997.

To counter any who might have thought an Army general was just window dressing on the board, Eliassen, who a company VP of finance at the time, recalls a man fully focused on the utility's business.

Eliassen's offered comment is:

“The General was a thoughtful, articulate and engaged board member, and he was always well prepared and always willing to offer comments and questions—Great military leaders translate well into very capable leaders in many business situations, and Norm was no exception.   It was a pleasure to work with him for those four years he sat on our boards of WWP and of Pentzer.”

Avista reports slightly lower earnings

Avista Corp. reported slightly lower third quarter earnings of $10.7 million, or 18 cents per share, this morning, compared to $12.3 million, or 22 cents per share, for the third quarter of 2010.

Through the first nine months of the year, Avista’s income was $75.6 million, or $1.30 per share, compared to $66.7 million, or $1.20 per share for the same period in 2010.

Scott Morris, Avista’s chairman and chief executive officer, said the third quarter earnings were in line with company expectations.

This year’s weather has been cooler than average, with rain, snow and streamflows well above average, he said. As a result, the Spokane-based utility experienced one of the best hydroelectric years on record. Morris said Avista’s customers have benefited from low wholesale prices for electricity, which have been passed onto customers through cost deferrals.

Palouse Wind farm to power 30,000 homes via Avista

Avista will buy power from the proposed Palouse Wind project in Whitman County, the company said today.

The Spokane-based utility will receive about 40 average megawatts of renewable energy, and as much as 100 megawatts, from the wind farm, which is being developed by First Wind, an independent wind energy company.

Avista said it will receive the first power from the wind turbines next year, kicking off a 30-year power purchase agreement.

The energy qualifies under Washington State’s Energy Independence Act to meet Avista’s state-mandated requirements for renewable energy. The company said it expects to recover the cost of buying the wind power through retail rates.

Lower wind power costs and continuing tax incentives make this an excellent time to make long-term wind power deals, said Dick Storro, vice president of Energy Resources for Avista.

“Palouse Wind will help Avista meet its goal of providing reliable energy to our customers at a reasonable cost, while meeting renewable portfolio standards, now and in the future,” Storro said.

The wind farm will be the largest renewable energy facility in Whitman County, with the capacity to generate power for about 30,000 homes of Avista customers. It will go on private land between Oakesdale and State Route 195, capturing the prevailing southwest wind.

Advantage IQ’s CEO next Executive Connect featured speaker

Advantage IQ, Energy Management ServicesA lot of folks talk about green tech and its importance in the development of the new economy.

One company that sometimes misses recognition for its green value is Spokane-based Advantage IQ. The firm, which spun out of Avista, provides detailed utility expense analysis and efficiency management for large companies. 

Company President and CEO Jeff Heggedahl will explain how it does that work in the next Executive Connect breakfast, on May 26 at the Georgian Room of the Spokane Club, 1102 W. Riverside. Hosted by Connect Northwest, the event begins at 7:30 a.m. (doors open at 7).

Advantage IQ has received an EPA Energy Star sustained excellence award for five consecutive years. The most recent award noted the company in 2010 provided energy ratings to more than 38,000 buildings, an 11 percent increase over 2009.

Admission is $30. To reserve a spot, contact Catherine Greer, at catherineg@connectnw.org or 509.358.2114.

For information on Advantage IQ, here's the website.

Avista reports strong first quarter

Avista Corp. reported net income of $41.9 million, or 73 cents per share, for the first quarter of 2011, compared to $28.8 million, or 52 cents per share, for the first quarter of 2010.

Chairman and CEO Scott Morris attributed the earnings increase to colder, wetter weather during the first quarter, compared to 2010, which was one of the warmest January to March periods on record for the utility’s service territory.

“Weather conditions in the first quarter of 2011 were slightly colder than average with precipitation, snowpack and streamflows well above average. This resulted in a significant increase in retail loads and hydroelectric generation as compared to the prior year, which increased operating revenues and reduced our power supply costs,” he said in a statement.

Retail energy demand was slightly higher than the utility expected, he said. General rate increases that went into effect since October also helped the company’s bottom line, Morris said.

However, Avista is still not earning the rate of return authorized by state utility commissions, he said. Morris said the utility is continuing to lag in the recovery of capital investments and increased operating costs. As a result, Avista plans to file a general rate case in Washington during the second quarter and continues to evaluate rate case plans for Idaho.

Avista reports ‘solid year,’ with earnings up

Avista Corp. today reported net income of $92.4 million, or $1.65 per share, for 2010, compared to $87.1 million, or $1.58 per share, for 2009.

For the fourth quarter of 2010, Avista’s net income was $25.7 million or 45 cents per share, compared to $22.1 million, or 40 cents per share, for the fourth quarter of 2009.

Avista improves 3Q income

Spokane-based Avista Corp. on Thursday posted third-quarter earnings of $12.3 million, or 22 cents a share, compared with income of $8.1 million and 15 cents per share in the third quarter of 2009.

Over the first nine months of 2010, the power utility reported income of $66.7 million, or $1.20 per share, compared with income of $65 million, or $1.18 per share, for the same period one year earlier.
Third-quarter revenue was $367.1 million, compared with $314.7 million from the third quarter of 2009.

Company CEO and President Scott Morris said in a news release that the company is overcoming “a challenging first quarter due to one of the warmest January to March periods on record.” That’s been offset by “lower power supply costs and the continued management of our operating expenses,” Morris said.

Avista changes power-line strategy due to fire conditions

Avista Corp. is making temporary changes to its power line operations as a result of dry conditions and wildfire risk.
The changes could result in customers being without power for longer periods of time if outages occur, officials said.
Lines are normally reenergized automatically when they’re down. Now, however, line personnel will physically patrol the outage area before the line is put back into service to reduce fire risk.
Affected areas include Spokane, the Palouse and the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley. Depending on weather conditions, other parts of the Avista service territory could also be affected.

Cisco starts getting serious about getting into home energy monitors

This goes into the Smart Grid file, in the subfolder on home monitors that track residential power consumption.

Cisco has unveiled a new home device. It’s the Cisco Home Energy Management Solution. Like other devices coming to the market, it provides a network hub to manage and track one’s home energy system and tracks consumption. The emphasis, over time, as more “smart” systems go into the home, will be on MANAGING energy, not just tracking use.

Cisco is such a giant that once it focuses on a business niche, it usually makes its presence known. 

The device pictured is supposed to become available this summer, and the official list price is $900 per home. List price, we hope, is way different from what it will cost consumers.

It’s unlikely anyone within 300 miles of Spokane or Coeur d’Alene will be able to use it.

Aside from Wi-Fi, the controller can communicate with smart meters and appliances via Zigbee and also via a proprietary protocol (Encoder Receiver Technology, or ERT) used by well-established home-automation player Itron, based in Liberty Lake.

It will also interact with so-called smart plugs — peripherals that you can plug your existing appliances into that will send data to the Home Energy Management device.

Proposed penalties against Avista stem from 2008 gas explosion

Washington state pipeline safety regulators recommend penalties against Avista Corp. that could exceed $1.1 million. The proposed penalties are for actions that resulted in a natural gas explosion and fire in December 2008 that destroyed part of an Odessa home and injured two people.
 
Investigators with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission’s Pipeline Safety Program concluded that the explosion was caused by a leak from a broken natural gas pipeline that was improperly installed. The investigators also found that Avista removed the cracked section of pipe before commission staff completed its investigation of the incident.

Avista reports lower earnings due to mild winter

Avista Corp. saw its earnings drop in the first quarter, and officials with the Spokane company say weather was largely to blame.

“We had a challenging first quarter because our region experienced one of the warmest January to March periods on record combined with low precipitation and snowpack,” Chairman, President and CEO Scott Morris said in a statement this morning. “This weather pattern reduced our retail loads, hydroelectric generation and net income.”

The company today reported net income of $28.8 million, or 52 cents per diluted share, for the first quarter. That compares to $31 million, or 57 cents per share, for the first quarter of 2009.

Net income for Avista’s utilities operation was $27.8 million in the first quarter, down from $30.6 million a year ago.

Avista seeks 13 percent rate hike

Avista is seeking to raise the price of electricity and natural gas through a series of rate filings.

For the average Avista ratepayer in Eastern Washington, the request amounts to adding $10.62 to a homeowner’s monthly electric bill and another $4 a month for natural gas.

In Idaho the request would add $11.40 to the average homeowner’s electric bill and an extra $2.77 a month for natural gas.

The Spokane-based utility said the extra money is needed to pay for improvements to its dams, transmission systems, and network of neighborhood distribution lines, along with locking in new long-term contracts with outside electricity providers to meet the needs of a growing population.

The company filed its requests with regulators in each state Tuesday. Specifically, Avista seeks a 13.4 percent rate hike for electricity and 6 percent more from its natural gas customers in Washington; and a 13.1 percent electric rate increase and 4.1 percent increase for natural gas in Idaho.

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