Avista Prepares for New Mexico Market Entrance
Avista Power said Tuesday it purchased a 20-acre site in
Lordsburg, NM from TNP Technologies and plans to put a $70 million
power plant into service on the acreage by early 2000. The terms of
the sale were not disclosed. The land contains four older
generators, which were in the process of being updated. All permits
and licenses will transfer to Avista Power and the transaction is
expected to close within 60 days.
The purchase marks Avista's physical entrance into the area.
"The Desert Southwest is a growing and important market," said T.M.
Matthews, CEO of Avista Corp. "The Lordsburg, NM, facility
presented an opportunity to enter a new market and to immediately
begin providing energy to one of the fastest growing regions of the
The planned power plant also signifies the continuance of Avista's
determination to produce electricity and gas for Avista Energy to
market. Last December, Washington Water Power, (now called Avista
Corp.) entered into an agreement with Cogentrix Energy to jointly
build and/or buy interests in the gas-fired, 270 MW Rathdrum facility
in Rathdrum, ID (See Daily GPI, Dec.14,
1998). "Gaining ownership and control of both electric and
natural gas production and transportation assets has been at the core
of our regional and national growth initiatives, specifically in
support of Avista Energy," Matthews said. "Rathdrum and Lordsburg are
the first of many projects to be developed by Avista Power."
Avista Power has no stated goal as to how many electric assets
it will acquire in 1999, said Susan Nielsen, an Avista spokesman.
"It will depend on a number of factors such as price, access to
gas, and if the area has a need for new generation. Although our
first two plants have been in the West, this is not an indication
for the future. Due to the 110 year history of Washington Water
Power the West is most familiar to us. But we are a national
presence and we are looking for the right deals all across North
America and Canada."
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