Google Energy

Google Energy

Google Energy. Here are two words you never really thought would be next to each other but now you cannot help but be intrigued and happy.  The search engine leader has found itself one step closer to becoming a “carbon neutral” company.  They have formed the Delaware-based subsidiary, Google Energy, not initially to be a utility company, but to buy and sell renewable energy for its own operations in Mountain View, Ca.

The data centers that are required to run the most popular search engine in the world are already utilizing a 1.6 megawatt solar array.  But now with the approval of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Google Energy can buy and sell renewable energy like utilities do. FERC, the agency that oversees the U.S. power grid, has granted Google Energy the rights “for the sale of energy, capacity, and ancillary services at market-based rates”.  Even with this authorization, neither Google nor any of its affiliates currentl y own or operate any generation or transmission facilities.

The primary purpose for forming Google Energy is to manage Google’s energy costs.  Though this move would suggest plans to be a utility player in the renewable energy movement, Google affirms that they have no real concrete plans to become a consumer-based utility.  Google has been known to be an interested investor in renewable energy research and development.  They emphasize the need to trade in the wholesale energy market so that they may one day capitalize on becoming a utility.

In 2007, Google publicized their commitment to investing hundreds of millions of dollars to engineers and scientists to develop a method of producing 1 gigawatt of electricity cheaper than coal.  In 2008, Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, introduced an energy plan that supported the possibility that the U.S. could one day generate 100% of its electricity from renewable sources.  It seems as though Google E nergy is just another stepping stone for the search engine king to employ high-quality, renewable energy for its own use and to potentially offer that same energy on a utility scale.

Rich Hessler Solar
Solar Financing and Solar Marketing 

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