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Avista to Discuss Changes at Nine Mile Dam
Installation of new spillway technology to take place in 2010

 

Avista will hold a meeting to discuss planned improvements at Nine Mile Dam with interested residents, property owners and customers Friday, Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. at the dam.

 

The changes at the hydroelectric dam include installation of new spillway technology that will eliminate the need for annual installation of wooden flashboards.

 

Avista purchased Nine Mile in 1925, and in 1928 began installing the five-foot high flashboards on the crest of the dam, extending the normal dam height to 58 feet. Later, the flashboard height was raised to 10 feet. The flashboards allow the company to keep the reservoir pool at a higher level for power generation.

 

In 2010, Nine Mile will be upgraded and the new technology will be installed. The upgraded spillgate system will allow the company to pre-program desired heights and give operators the ability to raise and lower the height of the spillway at any time, incrementally if needed.

 

In the past the reservoir had to be lowered each summer to accommodate installation of the flashboards.

 

“The new technology will permanently change the dam’s operations, and our annual construction of the flashboards, which have been installed every summer and released each winter or spring for the past 80 years, will cease,” Tim Carlberg, Director of Generation and Production, said. “This will allow us to keep the reservoir behind the dam more consistently full year round.”

 

The new technology will consist of a bladder made of material roughly the consistency of tire rubber, which would raise a metal plate when inflated. The new, automated technology will be much more flexible and precise when managing the forebay elevation.

 

The improvements are a requirement of the new 50-year license Avista received from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to operate its five Spokane River hydroelectric facilities (Post Falls, Upper Falls, Monroe Street, Nine Mile, and Long Lake) on June 18, 2009.

 

“We’re excited to move forward in this first phase in improving and upgrading Nine Mile as part of the new Spokane River license,” Spokane River License Manager Speed Fitzhugh said.

 

Fitzhugh will be joined by hydro operations staff to show meeting attendees how the new spillway technology will be installed and operate.

 

For more information about the meeting, call (509) 495-4998.

 

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 355,000 homes and businesses and natural gas to 312,000 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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