Apple Inc., (IW 500/2) which spent $850 million last year on a 130-megawatt solar farm near San Francisco, can begin selling power into wholesale markets, joining Google parent Alphabet Inc. in the energy-trading business.
Apple’s subsidiary Apple Energy LLC may sell energy, capacity and other services needed to maintain reliable power, according to an order by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on August 4.
In granting approval, the commission determined the Mountain View, Calif.-based company did not raise the risk of being able to unfairly hike up power prices.
Apple, together with Google, are among a group of tech companies outside the utility industry ramping up investments in energy projects.
In addition to the California solar farm, Apple Energy owns 19.9 megawatts of generation capacity in the Nevada Power Company service area and 50 megawatts in the Salt River Project service area in Arizona, according to the filing. Apple may begin wholesale power sales on August 6.
Apple Energy’s application "satisfies the commission’s requirements for market-based rate authority," the agency said.
By Jonathan N. Crawford