FERC Friday approved Avista Energy Inc.'s request to temporarily turn over to Coral Energy Resources LP the rights to use expansion capacity at the Jackson Prairie Storage Project in Washington State.

The company's request is in keeping with its plans to exit the wholesale marketing business. Avista Energy said it will sell substantially all of its operating assets to Coral entities, including Coral Resources, which will continue the marketing activities previously conducted by Avista Energy.

Specifically, Avista Energy seeks to temporarily assign approximately 2.97 MMDth of Jackson Prairie expansion capacity and 104,000 Dth of deliverability to Coral Resources until April 30, 2011, after which the assigned capacity would revert back to Avista. Avista Corp., parent of Avista Energy, owns one-third of the Jackson Prairie storage facility. The other owners are Puget Sound Energy and Northwest Pipeline.

Coral Resources will pay $83.33 million monthly to Avista Energy for the use of the Jackson Prairie expansion capacity, according to the order [CP07-179].

"The proposed assignment arrangement is a reasonable means to enable Avista Energy to withdraw from wholesale marketing. Avista Corp.'s existing retail customers will not subsidize the cost of the temporary assignment of the rights to use a portion of Jackson Prairie capacity and their service will not be adversely affected," the FERC order said.

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