Avista Utilities Smart Grid Project

From Open Energy Information

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell announced that Avista Utilities in Spokane will receive $20M in investments to implement smart grid technologies. This investment is targeted to create jobs and lead to lower electricity bills for consumers.[2]

Avista Utilities’ (Avista) Spokane Smart Circuit project aims to reduce energy losses and improve reliability and efficiency in the electricity distribution system while reducing the need for new generation facilities. The project includes upgrading the distribution system by automating the management of the distribution grid and installing a rapid communications and monitoring infrastructure. New switches, capacitors, and sensors are being installed in substations and distribution circuits across the project area. This equipment provides automated regulation of power quality, rapid response to grid disturbances, and improvements to distribution reliability. A radio and fiber optic communications system integrates real-time data from grid sensors with the grid operator’s distribution management software platform. The upgrades reduce the need for truck visits for system maintenance and operations and reduce costs and emissions.[3]

Smart Grid Equipment

  • Distribution Automation Equipment for 59 out of 330 Circuits
  • Distribution Management System
  • Distribution Automation Communications Network
  • Automated Distribution Circuit Switches
  • Automated Capacitors
  • Circuit Monitors/Indicators
  • Substation Automation/Upgrade for 14 out of 206 Substations
  • Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Communications Network

Targeted Benefits

  • Improved Electric Service Reliability and Power Quality
  • Reduced Costs from Equipment Failures and Distribution Line Losses
  • Reduced Operating and Maintenance Costs
  • Reduced Truck Fleet Fuel Usage
  • Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emission


  1. ARRA Smart Grid Investment Grants
  2. 2.0 2.1 Avista receives $20M
  3. Project Information Page