Washington Commission Adopted Settlement that Increases Avista’s Avoided Costs

At the December 22, 2022 Open Meeting, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (the Commission) approved Avista’s avoided cost Schedule 62 tariff filing for small qualifying facilities in Docket No. UE-220783. The new tariff was the result of an informal settlement between Avista, Commission Staff, the Northwest & Intermountain Power Producers Coalition (NIPPC), and the Renewable Energy Coalition (REC).  In June 2022, Avista, Commission Staff, and NIPPC/REC began settlement negotiations for Avista’s 2022 avoided cost filing after NIPPC/REC and Commission Staff raised issues with Avista’s previous 2021 avoided cost filing in Docket No. UE-210815. In that proceeding, two Commissioners shared NIPPC/REC and Staff’s concerns, but ultimately the Commission declined to act. The parties attended many settlement negotiation calls and exchanged drafts of Avista’s 2022 avoided cost methodology.

One important change from last year’s filing is that it incorporates Avista’s “clean energy premium” from its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for renewable or clean resources in resource deficient years. This addressed NIPPC/REC and Commission Staff’s concern that Avista’s 2021 rates were too low because, among other things, the rates did not reflect that Avista’s next planned resources were renewable. Avista’s energy values were based on Avista’s 2022 All-Source Request for Proposals price forecast and included a monthly on-/off-peak schedule. The Load and Resource balance used to calculate the capacity value is based on Avista’s 2022 All Source Request for Proposals Load and Resource balance. Overall, all the changes made from Avista’s previous avoided cost filing resulted in an increase in the avoided cost rates.

Sanger Law, PC represented NIPPC and REC in this proceeding.

NIPPC represents electricity market participants in the Pacific Northwest, including independent power producers, electricity service suppliers, and transmission companies. NIPPC is committed to facilitating cost-effective electricity sales, offering consumers choices in their energy supply, and advancing fair, competitive power markets.

REC advocates for reasonable Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act and interconnection policies on behalf of renewable qualifying facilities that are located in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

These materials are intended to as informational and are not to be considered legal advice or legal opinion, nor do they create a lawyer-client relationship. Information included about previous case results does not assure a similar future result.