The Next P.G. & E.?
But a multifaceted, octopus-like reach is a trait we’ve come to expect from the stalwart giant Google as of late. The company is moving so quickly and in so many directions & markets that anything it does would hardly seem surprising - with the exception of becoming a utility company, which is now another card Google has up its sleeve.
Google Energy, a subsidiary of Google, has been recently granted the permission to become a wholesale electricity “trader” by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). See for yourself.
All of this withstanding, the company publicly states that it has no intention to start adding electricity to the expanding list of products and services it offers, but rather the filing was made so it could buy more green energy at a better market price and 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.
Company spokeswoman Niki Fenwick noted that this filing was made so Google could have “more flexibility in procuring power for Google’s own operations, including our data centers.”
A company buying and selling energy to help it manage costs isn’t so unusual, but then again, Google isn’t your typical company. And it’s certainly not the first major US company to get a wholesale trader license for electricity as plenty of others have gone this route to better manage their costs associated with energy consumption.
And until we’re actually plugging into the big G, there’s the Google PowerMeter, which allows us to track our electricity usage - as long as you have the proper equipment to upload the data.