Google Applies to Buy, Sell Electricity

Search giant wants to tap the grid like a utility
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2010 10:28 AM CST
Solar panel installation at Google's Mountain View, Calif. headquarters   (Photo: Business Wire)

(Newser) – Google has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for permission to become an “electricity marketer,” a designation that would allow it to buy and sell energy in bulk like a utility company. It’s an unorthodox move, but one Google says will help it power its sprawling operations and give it better access to clean energy, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The vast majority of electricity marketers are utilities, though a select few big industrial operations, like Alcoa and Kohler, have the designation. Google says it would use the designation to buy directly from renewable energy sources. It also wants the right to sell energy to wholesale customers. A spokeswoman says Google isn't definitely planning to do that, but the company is “not sure what we’re going to do.”

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