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December 16, 2011

Public Utilities Board to Discuss Opportunity for Short-Term Renewable Energy Sales

At its December 19th meeting, the Public Utilities Board (Board) will discuss a staff proposal on the potential short term sale of a portion of AMP’s renewable energy supply mix.  

The opportunity to leverage the value of renewable power assets owned by all Alamedans over the short term (2012-2019), balances competing utility objectives while providing long-term value to all utility customers. This short-lived opportunity has been discussed at several Board meetings over the past six months and the current direction of the Board envisions a decision being made at the January Board meeting.  

New California legislation signed into law in April 2011 mandates that all California utilities supply renewable energy to retail end-use customers at no less than an average of 20% for the period 2011 through 2013, 25% by 2016, and 33% by 2020 and each year thereafter.  AMP’s previous policy was adopted in 2003 and at its November 21st meeting; the Board approved a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) policy to conform to the new laws and standards.

AMP’s new RPS policy exceeds State mandates by requiring that the percentage of eligible renewable power used to supply AMP’s retail end-use customers be maintained at no less than an average of 25% for the period 2011 through 2013, an average of 35% for the period 2014 through 2016, and an average of 40% for the period 2017 through 2020, and each year thereafter.  The new policy represents an improvement over the previous policy approved by the Board in 2003, which intended to obtain at least 40% of electric energy from renewable resources  including power from large hydroelectric facilities.  Although power from large hydroelectric facilities accounts for 22% of AMPs resources today, it does not count towards a utility’s RPS target under current state law.  Consistent with state law, AMP’s new RPS policy now excludes large hydro resources as an eligible renewable resource.  Compared to AMP’s 2003 RPS policy, the newly approved policy reflects a more rigorous program that increases the amount of non-hydroelectric sourced renewables that AMP must procure to serve customers.  Although this short term sale will lower AMP’s RPS, the Board has approved a Voluntary Green program, that when implemented in July 2012, will allow any residential or commercial customer to voluntarily increase the renewable content of their electricity purchases to 100%.

Potential revenues obtained through the proposed short-term sale can be used to mitigate the rate impacts of AMP’s planned investments in advanced technology for the utility infrastructure, reliability improvements and projects that reduce Alameda’s greenhouse gas emissions including energy efficiency and community solar that will benefit all customers in the long term.  

“Everything we do, whether it is complying with new regulations, providing new programs and services, investing in new technology or providing more renewable power, impacts rates”, commented General Manager Girish Balachandran.  “By proposing this short-term action, during a period of fiscal hardship for many business and residential customers, AMP is able to capitalize on some of its assets to prepare the utility for future needs, minimize risks, and continue to provide quality service to the community, while lessening the impact on rates.  Keeping the lights on and keeping our rates low while providing responsive service and environmental leadership are our guiding principles as a nonprofit community-owned utility. These qualities are of highest value to our stakeholders, the local community”, stated Balachandran.

The Public Utilities Board meets monthly and is open to the public. Dates, time and location of meetings, along with staff reports and presentations are available at the Alameda Municipal Power website.


Sherri Hong
AGM Customer Resources
Office Phone: 510-748-3944