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S&P 600 Component
|Industry||Energy, private utility|
|Founded||1889, 132 years ago (as Washington Water Power)|
Chairman and CEO[when?]
|Products||Electricity and natural gas|
Number of employees
Avista Corporation is an American energy company. Avista generates and transmits electricity and distributes natural gas to residential, commercial, and industrial customers. Approximately 1,550 employees provide electricity, natural gas, and other energy services to 359,000 electric and 320,000 natural gas customers in three western states. The service territory covers 30,000 square miles (78,000 km2) in eastern Washington, northern Idaho, and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, with a population of 1.5 million.
Avista Utilities is the regulated business unit of Avista Corp., an investor-owned corporation headquartered in Spokane, Washington. Avista Corp.'s primary, non-utility subsidiary was Ecova, an energy and sustainability management company with over 700 expense management customers, representing more than 600,000 sites. In 2014, Ecova was sold to Cofely, a subsidiary of GDF Suez.
The company was founded 132 years ago in 1889 as Washington Water Power Company. The board of directors approved a name change to Avista Corporation, effective January 1, 1999, and the company began trading under the Avista name on Monday, January 4.
At that time, the company also bought naming rights for Spokane's minor league baseball park, Avista Stadium.
Washington Water Power was founded in 1889 helping the new and booming city of Spokane Falls to have more power. Using the Spokane River, the idea was that the town could use hydroelectricity. Trustees of the Edison Electric Illuminating Company asked for people to back them up in their project from New York to build a power station on the river. The people in New York refused saying that water power had little to no value. Defying the people in New York, 10 stockholders stepped up to support the project themselves and formed Washington Water Power to build it.
In the 1890s through the 1930s, Washington Water Power bought up streetcar companies in the city of Spokane and had cornered the transportation market by 1900. Despite seeing a peak in 1910, ridership declined through the 1930s and Washington Water Power's final streetcar line closed in 1936. The company would never again seek to enter the public transportation market.
In 1892 Washington Water Power purchased a park called Twickenham Park on the banks of the Spokane River. The company renamed the attraction Natatorium Park and expanded it with a large swimming pool in 1895 and it became an all-purpose recreation site for the city. Washington Water Power eventually sold the park in 1929.
Washington Water Power expanded in Oregon and into California by acquiring the natural gas operations of CP National from Alltel in 1989. The California operations were sold to Southwest Gas in 2005.
Avista supports adoption of electric vehicles. In 2016, Avista proposed a two-year pilot program that would install 265 charging stations for electric cars in the eastern part of Washington state. The program was estimated to cost around $3.1 million. It would install fast electric vehicle charging stations in 120 homes, 100 work places, and 45 public areas.
In December 2018, The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission rejected the proposed takeover by Hydro-One, saying the Ontario government (its largest shareholder) led by recently elected premier Doug Ford, had interfered politically in Hydro One's business affairs, most glaringly ordering the removal of CEO Mayo Schmidt, who he dubbed "the Six Million Dollar Man" during the election and vowed to fire him if elected.
On September 27, 2002, Avista was sued for issuing false and misleading statements concerning its business and financial condition, including failing to disclose that Avista was engaged in highly risky energy trading activities with Enron and Portland General Electric. On December 20, 2007, Avista agreed to a $9.5 million settlement.
On February 20, 2002, the company had voluntarily adjusted the amount originally allocated to IPR&D and will restate its third quarter 1998 consolidated financial statements accordingly
This article needs to be updated.May 2020)(
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