backtop


Print 36 comment(s) - last by Etsp.. on Feb 22 at 1:12 PM


Google yesterday gained federal authority to buy and sell power in the U.S., granting it essentially the same status as a power utility. Google's headquarters is seen here blanketed in solar panels.  (Source: Goozner Solar)

Google could eventually use the approval to sell renewable energy directly to U.S. consumers.  (Source: Wind Revolution)
Traditional power utilities have a new competitor

The world of power utilities in the U.S. is a story of old business.  The corporate landscape is almost as stale as America's power grid -- there's little fresh blood.  

That could soon change.  Adding to the shakeup that began earlier this week with President Obama's decision to back new U.S. nuclear construction with guaranteed loan funding, Google yesterday received approval [PDF] by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to become an open market seller and buyer of energy.

While the decision of Google to enter the power business may seem a strange one, it actually makes sense.  The search business (as well as Google's numerous other services) require vast farms of servers to power billions of requests worldwide.  These data centers using a tremendous amount of power.  Thus it's in Google's best interest to try to ensure reliable, affordable power.

Google also will look to use its newfound abilities to make good on its motto "do no evil" by adopting power from renewable sources.  Thanks to the approval, the company can now directly buy power from renewable energy installation, rather than having to purchase it second-hand through a utility.

The company, which has invested in numerous alternative energy projects of its own, could even enter the power production business eventually.  In its application Google requested the authority to "act as a power marketer, purchasing electricity and reselling it to wholesale customers."

In the short term, Google has "no plans" to sell power according to Google spokeswoman Niki Fenwick, speaking to 
The Wall Street Journal last month.  She states in a recent email, "We made this filing so we can have more flexibility in procuring power for Google's own operations, including our data centers.  FERC authority will improve our ability to hedge our purchases of energy and incorporate renewables into our energy portfolio."

The company's foremost objective is carbon neutrality -- emitting no more carbon than it takes in.  Google has already employed diverse means to achieve this goal.  It has used goats to mow the lawns of its California facilities and has invested in unusual sources of alternative energy, such as deep geothermal and high energy wind power.

Google currently has no wholesale electrical generation or transmission facilities according to its filing.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Google to do more evil...
By callmeroy on 2/22/2010 8:59:46 AM , Rating: 2
So....

1) They don't show ads for guns...oh no I'm offended a public company has their own policy that they don't wish to run ads for something they don't believe in. Nothing illegal about that. Nothing wrong with that. If I opened a business tomorrow and my policy was "We will not run ads for pornography sites or products"...its the same deal, my right as the business owner.

2) You got me there -- sounds like you spend WAY more time and energy using the search engine and scouring political forums than I do (meaning I don't - I have other things to worry about during my free time). That all sad..I would be curious of the proof you have of this practice.

3) Whoopidy doo dah....

4) 1984 style - you mean there's another "style" to harvesting and collecting data based on searches and information like email that the user agrees to when they sign up for the account in the first place? Tell me WTF do you think these search companies do? Yahoo. Bing. Google. They all do this that's the business model. That's how it works, how do you think the searches are created for accuracy. How do you think they make money - you think the advertisers they pick are just random?

Anyone who uses FREE on-line applications, like web based email, or search engines and then are surprised that certain demographic data is being collected -- that just friggin amazes me.

NOTHING is truly free.


“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki