Google Gets Approval to Buy and Sell Energy in US

22 Feb 2010

US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved Google’s application to buy and sell energy in the open market through its subsidiary Google Energy.

The FERC application approval, however, notes that neither Google Energy nor its affiliates own or control any generation or transmission, nor do they have a franchised service area for the sale of electricity to captive customers. Google Energy intends to act as a power marketer, purchasing electricity and reselling it to wholesale customers.

Google has also committed to being "carbon neutral," in part by using as much renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, as possible. FERC authority will improve their ability to hedge their purchases of energy and incorporate renewables into their energy portfolio.

Google had earlier filed an application for market-based rate authority. Google made this filing so they can have more flexibility in procuring power for Google’s own operations, including theirdata centres.

The approval is effective Feb. 23, as Google requested. It does not own or control any wholesale electrical generation or transmission facilities, so the agency determined that Google does not have "market power" or the ability to create barriers to entry.

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