July 1, 2011 in Idaho

Avista, Palouse Wind sign deal

Turbines’ first power expected next year
By The Spokesman-Review
 

Avista will buy electricity from the Palouse Wind project in Whitman County, the company said Thursday.

The Spokane-based utility will receive on average about 40 megawatts of renewable energy, and as much as 100 megawatts, from the wind farm being developed by First Wind, a Boston-based 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 help meet Avista’s state-mandated requirements for renewable energy. The company said it expects to recover the cost of buying the wind power through its 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.

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