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Avista Utilities Electric Distribution Planning Engineer in Spokane, Washington


Closes: October 9, 2022Salary: DOQ

Avista’s System Planning team is seeking qualified candidates to fill a new engineer position to support enhancements to the electric distribution planning process. The new System Planning Engineer will model and analyze Avista’s electric distribution system to identify performance deficiencies and develop mitigation strategies. Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses located in Spokane Washington. Its service territory covers 30,000 square miles in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon.

Job Description

The Electric Distribution Planning Engineer performs multi-year assessments and interconnection studies, participates in regional and national forums, and provides support to project implementation groups, resource planning, operations, law, contract, and other internal departments. The engineer is responsible for developing plans and timetables for electric distribution facility additions or improvement necessary to meet performance requirements as defined by planning standards including requirements outlined in Avista’s Clean Energy Implementation Plan. Activities of the role will directly contribute toward Avista’s clean energy goals. Responsibilities of the job include:

  • Forecast and analyze distribution system electric loads

  • Develop and maintain computer simulation models representing the electrical system used for analysis

  • Perform and analyze electric distribution system power flow and stability studies

  • Conduct and review load and generation interconnection studies

  • Consider asset management principles and plans, non-wires alternatives, operational impacts, and system reliability in project analyses

  • Analyze projects both technically and economically and recommend preferred alternatives for system additions

  • Support facility permitting processes and any other processes required to determine the best distribution route-plan alternative

  • Interface and coordinate with both internal and external customers of Avista

  • Provide subject matter expert support to Avista’s Distribution Planning Advisory Group

  • Evaluate potential of Distributed Energy Resources on Avista’s distribution system

  • Fulfill requirements of internal and external standards

  • Actively foster a safe working environment for self and for fellow employees. Look for and act to resolve any unsafe situations


The job requires the ability to communicate clearly and apply interpersonal skills with cross-functional teams. Technical writing skills and presentations will be used to communicate requirements, present alternatives and recommendations. Proficiency with the use of personal computer software applications including power flow and dynamic analysis, database management and Microsoft Office Suite including Access is essential to fulfilling the job responsibilities. System Planning Engineers are expected to perform at a high level of technical engineering and project management which requires advanced technical and company knowledge. Ability to apply originality and judgment in the technical analysis and independent evaluation, selection and modification of standard techniques, procedures and criteria is necessary. Other combinations of education and/or experience may be considered.


  • Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering or equivalent discipline

  • Knowledge of power system theory and analysis

  • 1 year of electrical utility experience

  • Strong interpersonal skills


  • Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering with specialization in Power Systems

  • 3 years of distribution electric system planning experience

  • 3 years of technical writing experience related to system planning (example work may be requested)

  • Knowledge of Avista’s electric system

  • 3 years of experience with DNV Synergi Electric or similar program

  • Experience performing distribution system studies

  • Experience in system operations, engineering, asset strategy, and/or system protection

  • Experience using various methods to manage and manipulate data to aid in analysis automation, model maintenance, and analysis presentation such as, but not limited to, Python, C#, batch scripting, Excel, Access, SQL, ArcGIS suite, and Tableau

  • Professional Engineer License

Job location is Avista’s headquarters in Spokane, WA.

To Apply

Complete an online application and attach your resume and cover letter to your profile. All documents must be attached to your application at the time of submitting your application for review. No documents can be attached after you click "Submit".

Pre-employment screening requirementsEmployment is contingent upon the successful completion of a drug test, background check and motor vehicle records review.

Avista’s Commitment to Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Avista is committed to the goal of Equal Opportunity Employment and Affirmative Action. All qualified applicants will be considered regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, age, sensory, mental or physical disability (unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification), Veteran status or any other classification protected by nondiscrimination law.

Please view Equal Employment Opportunity Posters provided by OFCCP here ( . Avista will make reasonable accommodation to assist a qualified person with a disability in the job application, interview process, and to perform the essential functions of the job whenever possible, where undue hardship would not be created for Avista. Please let us know if you would like assistance.


Licenses & Certifications


  • NERC Background Check

Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities

The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)