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Avista Celebrates Noxon Rapids 50th Anniversary, Clark Fork Settlement Agreement 10th Anniversary

 

Avista will celebrate both the 50th anniversary of the first power generated at its Noxon Rapids hydroelectric dam and the first 10 years of successful implementation of the Clark Fork Settlement Agreement Thursday, Oct. 1 in Noxon, Mont.

 

Noxon Rapids is part of Avista’s Clark Fork Hydroelectric Project on the lower reach of the Clark Fork River, which also includes the Cabinet Gorge dam 22 miles downstream in Idaho. The two dams generate nearly 80 percent of Avista’s hydroelectric power, and account for almost half of Avista’s total generation capability.

 

Avista was formed as Washington Water Power in 1889 with the construction of the Monroe Street Dam on the Spokane River. Washington Water Power (later renamed Avista) began construction of the Noxon Rapids Dam in 1956, after completing Cabinet Gorge in 1953. The construction of Noxon Rapids was a boon to Sanders County and the surrounding area, nearly doubling the population of the county and infusing millions of dollars into the local economy. Noxon Rapids began generating power on July 7, 1959, with a dedication ceremony in 1960 drawing a crowd of thousands to the community of Noxon.

 

The Clark Fork Settlement Agreement, a multi-stakeholder agreement for managing and protecting the natural resources associated with the hydro project, was signed in 1999 after several years of collaboration. The following year, in an unprecedented action, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a new single license for the project, built around the agreement, a year prior to the expiration of the existing Cabinet Gorge license. This single license to operate both Cabinet Gorge and Noxon Rapids took effect March 1, 2001. The collaborative agreement ensures local participation in the protection of natural resources affected by the dam over the life of the 45-year license.

 

“Our Clark Fork project has provided clean, renewable power to residents of the Northwest for more than half a century,” Avista Utilities President Dennis Vermillion said. “But more than that – it has given us 50 years of working with others to protect the environment and 50 years of being good neighbors and giving back to the communities we live and work in.”

 

Avista and its community partners have been marking these milestones throughout the year with a variety of activities, including a poster contest for local students. These activities will culminate with an anniversary celebration in Noxon, Thursday, Oct. 1. A rededication ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. at the lower Noxon Rapids overlook, and will include remarks by Scott Morris, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Avista Corp., Richard Opper, director of the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, and a representative of Montana Trout Unlimited. The community celebration will be held at Pilgrim Creek Park beginning at 3 p.m., and will include public tours of Noxon Rapids Dam, as well as a picnic, music, displays and poster contest awards. All times are Mountain Time.

 

Read the story of Noxon Rapids here. http://www.avistautilities.com/community/blog/BlogPagesDocLib/Noxon%20Celebration%20Brochure%20FINAL.pdf

Oct. 1 Schedule of events and tour information:

1 p.m. MDT           Rededication ceremony at lower Noxon Rapids overlook (Those interested in attending the re-dedication ceremony should meet at Pilgrim Creek Park at noon, as parking will not be available at the overlook.)

·         Remarks by Scott Morris, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Avista Corp.

·         Remarks by Richard Opper, director, Montana Department of Environmental Quality

·         Remarks by Montana Trout Unlimited representative

3 p.m.                     Community picnic begins at Pilgrim Creek Park

·         Food and beverages available

·         Bull Trout Trailer, Avista Sun Car

·         Music by The Marauders

4 p.m.                     Wattson, Avista’s Energy Watchdog, children’s events

                                First public tours of Noxon Rapids

·         Adults must register and show photo ID to take tour.

·         Children under 18 must be accompanied by adult.

·         Buses will provide transportation from Pilgrim Creek Park and back, approximately 90-minute total time.

·         Noxon Rapids is not a public facility and therefore is not ADA accessible. Tour participants must be able to walk for an extended amount of time and climb stairs.

4:30 p.m.               Remarks by Dennis Vermillion, president, Avista Utilities

Poster contest awards

5:30 p.m.               Second public tours of Noxon Rapids (see above)

 

Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is our operating division that provides electric service to 353,000 homes and businesses and natural gas to 313,000 homes and businesses in three Western states, serving more than 492,000 customers. Avista’s primary, non-regulated subsidiary is Advantage IQ. Our stock is traded under the ticker symbol “AVA.” For more information about Avista, please visit www.avistacorp.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, 2008, and the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2009.

 

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