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Google Granted the Right to Buy and Sell Electricity

Google Granted the Right to Buy and Sell Electricity
Back in December, Google took steps to form Google Energy, a subsidiary created for the express purpose of buying and selling electricity in bulk. In January, the company filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to enter the market, and yesterday received permission to purchase and resell wholesale energy (PDF).

Google says it made the move primarily to better manage its high electricity costs, but also to give it more flexibility in pursuing the goal of becoming completely carbon neutral. "We want to buy the highest quality, most affordable renewable energy wherever we can," a representative told CNET news. A company buying and selling energy to help it manage costs isn't unusual, but -- then again -- Google isn't your typical company.

There is some expectation that Google will actually enter the energy business at some point, whether it sells direct to consumers or partners with existing utility companies. Back in January, the same representative told CNET, "We want the ability to buy and sell electricity in case it becomes part of our portfolio." Then there was the announcement that the company was developing low cost mirrors for use in solar panels. And, of course, there's the Google PowerMeter, which allows users to track electricity usage, as long as they have the proper equipment to upload the data.

Google has extended its reach across almost every type of Web service into the world of smart phones, announced a plan to (at least experimentally) enter the ISP business, developed a netbook OS, and now has implied that it may attempt to enter the consumer electricity market. With each passing day, those folks previously dismissed as paranoid for comparing Google to Big Brother seem a little less crazy. [From: CNET and ITworld]

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Tags: electricity, energy, google, google energy, GoogleEnergy, isp, netbook os, NetbookOs, top