Earlier this week Apple filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to sell electricity from its solar farms at the Cupertino, CA, campus and at its Nevada datacenter. The filing also will allow it’s subsidiary Apple Energy LLC to sell power from its other energy generators around the country, including hydrogen fuel cells, biogas facilities, solar farms and hydroelectric plants.
“The news comes from 9to5mac, which reported that: “Apple has quietly created an energy subsidiary, ‘Apple Energy’ LLC, registered in Delaware but run from its Cupertino headquarters. The company was seemingly formed to allow it to sell excess electricity generated by its solar farms in Cupertino and Nevada, with plans to sell electricity across the whole of the US.”
Apple already has made numerous investments in solar power and renewable energy around the world as have other tech giants like Google. For instance, earlier this year the company filed to issue $1.5 billion in green bonds to support its renewable energy installations. But the filing will allow the company to operate as an energy producer and seller. “The fully owned subsidiary said in the filing that it wants permission to sell energy, capacity and ancillary services at market rates to anyone that isn’t a public utility,” according to Investopedia.
The company plans to source all of its energy—and that of its manufacturers (last year it announced a new 40 megawatt solar farm in China, for instance)—from renewable energy. Since it has solar farms there will be times when they could produce more energy than Apple can use. At those times it could sell the excess electricity back to the electric grid.
But already there’s speculation that Apple could want to do more. Blog Electrek, a sister site to 9to5Mac speculated that the filing could allow Apple to gain additional revenue from its electric generation resources. “If the power utility needs extra electricity pumped into the grid at a certain moment guaranteed, it can contract with Apple directly instead of ‘hoping’ extra energy will be produced and schedule it.”Tweet