EDITORS: Please do not use
"Pacific Gas and Electric" or "PG&E" when
referring to PG&E Corporation or its National Energy Group.
The PG&E National Energy Group is not the same company as Pacific
Gas and Electric Company, the utility, and is not regulated by the
California Public Utilities Commission. Customers of Pacific Gas
and Electric Company do not have to buy products or services from
the National Energy Group in order to continue to receive quality
regulated services from Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
AND AVISTA CORP. SECURE FERC APPROVAL TO MOVE FORWARD WITH EASTERN
WASHINGTON GAS STORAGE PROJECT
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF., AND
SPOKANE, WASH. - PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG) and Avista Corp. (NYSE:
AVA) continue to make progress on Stanfield Hub Services, LLC, their
joint venture natural gas storage project in eastern Washington.
The companies, partners on this project since early 1999, said they
will continue to move forward in light of encouraging initial test
results and a positive regulatory ruling from the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission (FERC).
"The need for natural gas
continues to grow in the region," said Peter Lund, vice president,
pipeline marketing and development, of PG&E National Energy Group's
Northwest system. "A viable natural gas storage facility accessible
to both Northwest and California markets would play a vital role
in helping to meet this need."
The project's next steps
will include deepening an existing well and conducting additional
tests to determine the viability of the proposed storage site. The
tests are expected to last about 90 days, and subsequent activities
will depend on their results.
The Stanfield Storage Project
is located in eastern Washington across the Columbia River from
Stanfield, Ore. It is strategically close to PG&E National Energy
Group's pipeline interconnect with Williams (Northwest Pipeline
Corp.), several existing and proposed major power plant developments,
and regional electric transmission facilities. The project developers
say this location is emerging as a regional energy hub, making it
ideal for a natural gas storage area.
"The Stanfield gas storage
project shows great promise for our company, our customers and the
region, and we are moving ahead with it," said Roger Woodworth,
Avista Corp. vice president of corporate development, "but we will
only seek final regulatory approvals if the Stanfield project is
determined to be fully feasible."
PG&E Corporation, with revenues
of more than $20 billion and operations in 21 states, markets energy
services and products throughout North America through its National
Energy Group. One of the largest U.S. transporters of Canadian natural
gas, PG&E National Energy Group owns and operates a 612-mile dual
pipeline system in the Pacific Northwest. PG&E Corporation's businesses
also include Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the Northern and
Central California utility that deliver natural gas and electricity
to one in every 20 Americans. For more information about PG&E Corporation,
visit its website at www.shike35.icu.
Avista Corp. is an energy,
information and technology company with utility and subsidiary operations
located throughout North America. Avista Corp. affiliate companies
include Avista Utilities, which operates the company's electric
and natural gas generation, transmission, and distribution business.
Avista's non-regulated businesses include Avista Advantage, Avista
Labs, Avista Communications, Avista Energy, Avista Energy Canada,
Ltd., Avista Power and Avista Ventures, the parent of Avista Development
and Pentzer Corporation. For more information about Avista Corp.,
visit the corporate website at www.avistacorp.com
This news release contains forward-looking
statements regarding the Avista Corp.'s current expectations. These
statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties that
could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations.
These risks and uncertainties include, in addition to those discussed
herein, all of the factors discussed in the company's Annual Report
on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 1999, and Form 10-Q for
the quarter ended March 31, 2000.