Apple is seeking to sell a whole different product. No, not cars—yet. Try renewable energy. The iPhone maker has created an energy subsidiary in Delaware called Apple Energy LLC to sell surplus electricity generated by its various renewable energy projects.
— RenewableEnergyWorld (@REWorld) June 10, 2016
Documents seen by PV Tech show that Apple has applied to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to sell excess power from solar panels on top of its Cupertino, California headquarters as well as energy generated by its solar farms, hydroelectric plants and biogas facilities across the country.
This is big news. Most corporations usually sell surplus energy to power companies, but the tech titan is basically creating a green energy pipeline to consumers.
“If Apple’s application is approved, it will be able to sell electricity directly to its customers—eliminating the need for utility power,” PV Tech observed.
In the FERC filing, Apple has requested to sell energy at market rates rather than wholesale since it’s not an major energy company and cannot influence electricity prices, PV Tech noted.
“Applicant seeks the same blanket authorization and waivers of the commission’s rules and filing requirements previously granted to other entities authorized to transact at market-based rates,” Apple’s tariff states.
The Apple blog 9to5Mac suspects that Apple’s FERC filing is following in the footsteps of Green Mountain Power, which also sells renewable energy to homeowners. Another guess is that Apple’s potential new energy company could help fuel Apple’s long-rumored electric car project.
Apple has requested the tariff be granted within 60 days of its June 6 filing, so we’ll have to wait until then to see if it takes off.
In recent years, Apple has worked hard to shrink its global carbon footprint, and CEO Tim Cook is known for being a green leader.