Avista completes buy of Alaska electric utility

Avista Corp. (NYSE:AVA) said July 1 that it has closed on its acquisition of Alaska Energy and Resources Co. (AERC), which is based in Juneau, Alaska.

The primary subsidiary of AERC is Alaska Electric Light and Power Co. (AEL&P), the oldest regulated electric utility in Alaska.

“We are very pleased to complete this transaction, and to have AERC become part of our company. We look forward to working with the highly skilled and dedicated management and employees of AEL&P and to being a partner in the Juneau community,” said Avista Corp. Chairman, President and CEO Scott Morris.

The Alaska Electric website shows that the company has several small hydro and fossil power plants, including:

  • The Gold Creek Hydro Plant, located in downtown Juneau, is a “run-of-the-river” facility. Gold Creek produces about 4.5 GWH of energy annually for AEL&P, but this production is seasonal.
  • The Gold Creek fossil fuel plant, which has five slow speed diesel engines capable of producing 7.9 MW.
  • The Salmon Creek Dam and Powerhouses, which not only generates over 10% of Juneau’s power, but also supplies water to the community and is the sole source of water for the Douglas Island Pink and Chum Hatchery at Lower Salmon.
  • The Auke Bay Fossil Plant, which runs on either diesel or natural gas.
  • The Snettisham Hydroelectric Project, which came on-line in 1973 offering 47.2 MW of electrical power to the Juneau power grid. With the later addition of the Crater Lake Stage’s 31 MW of capacity, the total amount now available from Snettisham is 78.2 MW.

Avista Corp., incorporated in 1889 and based in Spokane, Wash., is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is the operating division that provides electric service to 367,000 customers and natural gas to 326,000 customers. Its service territory covers 30,000 square miles in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, with a population of 1.6 million.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.