Alameda Municipal Power

The board that oversees Alameda’s power supply took in a presentation Monday on potential cyber threats to that supply and to financial information of Alameda Municipal Power’s customers.

The city has scored what officials hope is a final legal victory in a trio of bondholder lawsuits that followed the sale of Alameda Municipal Power’s telecommunications business in 2008.

The suits, which accused the city of cheating the original architect of its cable and internet system of payments that were due and fudging disclosure documents to make the planned telecom enterprise appear more profitable than it was expected to be, could have cost the city a much as $25 million.

On April 1, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston offered a judgment voiding Vectren Communications Services’ final claim against the city, though the judgment is subject to appeal.

Managers at Alameda Municipal Power are making plans to convert the bulbs in nearly 5,500 city streetlights, most of which are high power sodium, to light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, a change they say could reduce streetlights' energy use by 45 percent and save them $316,000 a year. The two-year, $4.4 million conversion job is expected to commence during the 2015 fiscal year, which begins in July. Here are some vital stats.

The city scored a victory against investors in its former cable and Internet business last week when a federal appeals court nixed the investors’ $10 million fraud case.

The Ninth District Court of Appeals ruled that attorneys representing Nuveen Municipal High Income Opportunity Fund and a trio of other Nuveen funds failed to show how the former Alameda Power & Telecom’s alleged misrepresentations in documents that accompanied a 2004 bond offering led to the $10 million loss they suffered on their investment.

Alamedans polluted less in 2010 than they did five years earlier, the results of a new study show.

Emissions of carbon dioxide and other air pollutants dropped 8 percent over that time, the 2010 Community-Wide Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory estimates, putting Alameda on track to meet the city’s reduction target of 25 percent by 2020. But some are questioning whether the numbers will hold as the nation emerges from a recession that likely reduced the car trips that are responsible for much of the pollution, and they say that much more needs to be done.

After more than a decade of banking locally, Alameda Municipal Power appears prepared to move to a bigger bank.

Managers at the city-owned utility, which has done business with the Bank of Alameda since 2001, are seeking a move to U.S. Bank. The city’s Public Utilities Board is slated to vote on a $96,100, three-year contract with the bank at its regular meeting tonight – an amount that could increase as the utility investigates additional service enhancements.

Managers of Alameda’s city-owned electric company need to replace the utility’s outmoded technology and figure out how they’ll attract new employees in the face of a shortage of qualified workers, according to a new consultant’s report to be discussed by the City Council and Public Utilities Board tonight.

Alameda Municipal Power’s managers want to set new rates for charging electric cars as the vehicles’ availability and popularity grows. They want to have a new rate structure to Alameda’s Public Utilities Board for a decision in November that will help the utility make more money while producing savings for customers.

They want the rates to hew more closely to what it costs the utility to buy the power needed to charge them, AMP managers told the board last week, and they are hoping they can convince electric vehicle owners to charge their cars at night when the utility has a surplus of power.

In 1887, the City of Alameda took ownership of one of the nation’s first municipal power plants. And even then, the utility generated controversy. The city’s price tag for purchasing the 90-kilowatt plant from Jenney Electric Company, which was building plants all over the country and had constructed this one at the corner of Park Street and Otis Drive, was $40,000 – twice its contracted construction cost.

Alameda’s Public Utilities Board has agreed to shelve a controversial program to move utility wires underground in order to facilitate an overhaul of the program. The decision followed a 10-month review sparked by concerns over plans for a new underground utility district along and around Webster Street.

“This is not about utility district 31 per se. This about stepping back and looking at the undergrounding program as a whole,” Alameda Municipal Power General Manager Girish Balachandran said at a Public Utilities Board meeting Monday.