AVISTA, HYDRO ONE REACH MERGER MILESTONE
Avista Corp. announced it has filed a settlement agreement with the Washington state Utilities and Transportation Commission, marking a milestone regarding the energy company’s proposed acquisition by Toronto-based Hydro One. Avista said the agreement with Hydro One reinforces its commitment to keep its headquarters in Spokane, maintain local decision making, increase charitable contributions, and support economic development, innovation, and community involvement. The agreement includes credits totaling $32 million over a 10-year period, which Avista has said will save typical residential customers more than $4 a year on electricity and natural gas costs.
MULTICARE PLANS INDIGO URGENT CARE CLINICS HERE
MultiCare plans to expand its Indigo Urgent Care clinics into the Spokane market. The organization’s first Indigo clinic here is expected to open in North Spokane next fall, with others to follow, according to a MulitCare press release. The organization currently operates 16 urgent care clinics in the Puget Sound area.
SPOKANE-AREA HOME SALES MAINTAIN MOMENTUM
The Spokane Association of Realtors said the number of homes sold through its Multiple Listing Service in the first quarter of 2018 totaled 1,469, an increase of over 15 percent compared with sales in the first quarter of 2017. The median price for homes sold this year through March was $215,000, up 9.4 percent compared with the year-earlier period.
SEARS TO SELL SPOKANE-AREA PROPERTIES
Seattle-area commercial real estate brokerages Capital Pacific and 1st Western Properties have listed for sale six corporate-owned Sears Holding Corp. properties in Washington state, including Spokane-area Sears department store properties in NorthTown Mall and the Spokane Valley Mall. The listing portfolio also includes the Spokane Valley Kmart property at 4110 E. Sprague. The price is listed as “best offer” either individually or as an entire portfolio.
AVISTA IS DEVELOPING BIG SOLAR PROGRAM
Spokane-based Avista Corp. said it’s launching a project that will make solar energy available to its large commercial and industrial customers in Washington. Called the Solar Select program, the project will supply 28 megawatts of renewable energy via an 81,000-panel solar array that will be 25 times larger than the current largest array in the state. Construction on the project, to be located in Lind, Wash., is set to begin before summer, with commercial operations to start in mid-December.
SLIGHT PROFITABILITY PROJECTED FOR WHEAT GROWERS
Northwest wheat growers could see slight profitability during the next 12 months, according to Northwest Farm Credit Services’ quarterly market report. While global wheat supplies continue to grow, U.S. wheat production is 25 percent lower, the report says. The projected season-average price for all wheat is $4.60 to $4.70 a bushel, or just above the cost of production.
WSU, PNNL TO LAUNCH JOINT VENTURES
Washington State University and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory plan to launch the WSU-PNNL Institutes for Nuclear Science & Technology, Advanced Grid, and Bioproducts. The two organizations say they expect the three new research institutes will set the stage “for long-term impact in both discovery and innovation.”
PROVIDENCE, ASCENSION HALT TALKS
The Wall Street Journal reported that the Renton, Wash.-based Providence St. Joseph Health, which is the parent company of Spokane-based Providence Health Care, has halted merger talks with St. Louis, Mo.-based Ascension health network. The merger would have formed the largest nonprofit hospital system in the U.S.