SPOKANE, Wash. March 7, 2014: Avista Utilities has selected Max J. Kuney Company, headquartered in Spokane, Wash., as the general contractor for the upgrade and restoration of the company’s over 100-year-old South Channel Dam. The structure is one of three dams including the Middle Channel and North Channel dams that comprise the historic Post Falls Hydroelectric Development (HED) in Post Falls, Idaho.
The Post Falls HED is an important legacy hydroelectric resource for Avista and its customers that produces 18 megawatts of clean, renewable, low-cost power, while also providing recreational benefits to users of the Spokane River in Post Falls. That’s enough energy to power 13,500 homes.
“Like Avista, Max J. Kuney Company is a business grown in Spokane with a commitment to supporting the economy by working with locally-sourced subcontractors and suppliers as much as possible. That is important to providing living wage jobs for the residents of the Inland Northwest,” said Jason Thackston, Avista’s senior vice president for energy resources.
”The Kuney team shares Avista’s commitment to environmental stewardship in protecting the Spokane River and habitat during the project and understands the importance of minimizing impacts to Q’emiln Park. That’s why the Park and its facilities, including the boat launch are expected to be open as normal this summer with limited exceptions,” Thackston said.
The structural upgrades to the non-generating South Channel Dam, built in 1906, will help ensure the continued safe and reliable operation of the generating facility. Replacing the 1980’s-era manual equipment will also improve operational efficiencies, allowing for increased flexibility in responding to changing hydro conditions and customer demand.
In addition to upgrading equipment, the project includes constructing a temporary cofferdam, removing the original 1906 concrete facing and gate frames on the South Channel Dam, and adding new concrete, spillway gates and hoists, and remote controls for the spillway gates. The complete project is expected to cost about $13.5 million. The North Channel Dam was upgraded in 2004 and the Middle Channel Dam in 2012.
“As a construction company that works out of town a fair amount, we can’t ask for much more than the opportunity to work on critical projects like this one right in our own backyard. Hydropower is an incredible asset to our community, which makes bringing historic dams like Avista’s South Channel up to today’s standards a very important undertaking. We appreciate the opportunity to partner with Avista on this project and are looking forward to getting started,” said Max J. Kuney Company Vice President Daniel Kuney.
Max J. Kuney Company was selected through a competitive bidding process for the project that is expected to begin in late March with most of the dam construction completed by December 2014. Final road work and landscaping will be completed in spring 2015.
Additional information on the project is available at www.avistautilities.com/postfalls. There, customers and the public can sign up to receive an e-newsletter from Avista with timely information on the project.
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 366,000 customers and natural gas to 326,000 customers. Our service territory covers 30,000 square miles in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, with a population of 1.5 million. Avista's primary, non-utility subsidiary is Ecova, an energy and sustainability management company with over 700 expense management customers, representing more than 700,000 sites. 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, 2013.
About Max J. Kuney Company
Max J. Kuney Company is a fourth generation family business, founded in 1930 by Max Kuney Sr. The Company is headquartered in Spokane, and takes on challenging bridge, highway, hydropower and other infrastructure projects all over the Northwest. For more information, please visit www.maxkuney.com.
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