SPOKANE, WA--(Marketwired - August 31, 2015) - Looking to the future, Avista Utilities, an operating division of Avista Corp. (NYSE: AVA), projects having adequate generating resources -- company-owned or under contract -- to meet customers' energy needs through 2020, according to the 2015 Electric Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) filed today with Washington and Idaho public utility commissions.

As required by the commissions, Avista produces an electric IRP every two years detailing projected growth in demand for energy and the new resources needed to serve customers over the next 20 years.

In the 2016-2035 IRP timeframe, Avista anticipates customer load growth of 0.6 percent, down from a 1 percent projected growth noted in the 2013 IRP. In addition, Avista's Preferred Resource Strategy for meeting the increased demand over the 20-year IRP timeframe includes energy efficiency, upgrades to existing generation facilities and new natural gas-fired generation.

"The IRP is developed with the help of a Technical Advisory Committee that is made up of customers, environmental organizations, business groups, elected officials, utility commission staff and Avista's energy resource analysts," said Jason Thackston, Avista's senior vice president of energy resources. "The goal is to develop a 20-year plan that meets customers' needs for safe, reliable energy while balancing environmental responsibility, energy efficiency and cost."

Some highlights of the 2015 IRP include:

  • Population and employment growth are starting to recover from the Great Recession.
  • Natural gas-fired plants represent the largest portion of generation potential.
  • The IRP anticipates the first new generation will be a natural gas-fired plant, to come online by the end of 2020 to replace expiring contracts and to serve load growth.
  • Coal-fired generation at Colstrip Units 3 and 4 remains a cost effective and reliable source of power to meet the future energy needs of customers.
  • Energy efficiency gains will address more than half of projected load growth through the 20-year IRP timeframe.

Over 50 percent of Avista's company-owned and contracted generation is from renewable energy, including hydro, wind and biomass. More information on Avista's diverse energy mix and the IRP is available at www.avistautilities.com/energymix.

About Avista Utilities
Avista Utilities is involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy. We provide energy services and electricity to 369,000 customers and natural gas to 329,000 customers in a service territory that covers 30,000 square miles in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, with a population of 1.6 million. Avista Utilities is an operating division of Avista Corp. (NYSE: AVA). For more information, please visit www.avistautilities.com.

This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding the company's current expectations. Forward-looking statements are all statements other than historical facts. Such statements speak only as of the date of the news release and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the company's control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations. These risks and uncertainties include, in addition to those discussed herein, all of the factors discussed in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2014 and the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2015.

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